April 8, 2018 2:21 pm
Updated: April 12, 2018 6:17 pm

SJHL assistance fund to help junior hockey families affected by Humboldt Broncos bus crash

Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League President Bill Chow said Thursday the goal of the SJHL assistance program is to make sure the players have access to whatever resources they need.

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The hockey community is still coming to terms with a tragic crash in Saskatchewan that killed 15 people on board a junior hockey bus.

Bill Chow, president of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) has dedicated his career to supporting young athletes. Chow says the organization is focusing on supporting all those affected by the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

WATCH: The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is starting an assistance fund after the Humboldt Broncos team bus was involved in a fatal crash. League president Bill Chow joined Global News Morning to talk about the initiative.

The SJHL assistance fund has been set up for teams within the league.

Chow said the money collected is intended to help families who lost loved ones, but also other players within the league who are grieving and may need to access counselling services.

WATCH: Benefit concert to be held for Humboldt Broncos

“We need to support those other 11 teams and those players and coaches and families that may, down the road need some support at some point in time through counselling or whatever the case may be,” Chow said.

“You have a lot of players on other teams that know a lot of those players that were on the Humboldt Broncos.”

LISTEN BELOW: Bill Chow speaks with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen

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Chow says plans for the SJHL playoffs remain unclear for now.

READ MORE: Here are the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash

“We have to have conversations with the Humboldt organization. I have to have conversations with the league governors and we’ll be making those decisions in the next few days.”

Chow described Saskatchewan as a province where hockey is the fabric of the community.

‘We need to let our emotions out here’

Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk said while its playoffs are going ahead, the league is reaching out to every team to make sure the “tight community” of athletes is given the support they need.

“I know that all three of our teams have sat down and had the discussion and we’ve been in those with our teams ensuring that not only the players are supported but the whole community and the parents and the board,” he said. “We’re here to provide support for our athletes and our teams right now and are going to move forward finishing off our south [division] final and our AJHL final as well.”

READ MORE: Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers coaches bring gifts to Humboldt Broncos survivors in hospital

He said the Okotoks Oilers and Brooks Bandits will be facing off in Game 6 of the final on Sunday night in Brooks. He said a moment of silence will be held at the game to honour the players who lost their lives. If needed, Game 7 would be played in Okotoks on Tuesday. The winner of the south division final will play against the Spruce Grove Saints in the league final.

“In talking with our teams, reaching out to our coaches and governors we’re going to make sure that if there’s someone that needs help they get help and if they need someone to talk to that’s quite alright.

“We need to let our emotions out here and move forward.”

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