Hockey teams are playing for more than just a trophy when it comes to the Good Deeds Cup.
The winner of the Canada-wide competition will win $100,000 to make a difference in their community, and a Canmore minor hockey team has just made the finals.
“Obviously excited, but hugely surprised,” Canmore Eagles head coach Sean Kjemhus said. “The idea to support an organization that initiates programs or experiences for kids and others living with disabilities, to try a variety of sports and it being in our backyard was very inspiring.”
Players on the U13 Canmore Eagles held a vote and chose to support Rocky Mountain Adaptive, a charity that helps people with disabilities access sports and take advantage of the great outdoors.
“We’re really lucky that a lot of our participants that are locals are in school with some of these (Eagles) athletes,” RMA program manager Kim Cosman said.
“To see that carry through outside of school and have them pick us just reinforces the message that we’re trying to get across and that inclusion piece in the community.”
Prior to the pandemic, Rocky Mountain Adaptive assisted roughly 2,000 people in a year.
Transit from the city, providing equipment and subsidizing programs have been major barriers for the group in the past, and COVID-19 has prevented them from holding their usual major fundraisers.
By becoming regional finalists, the Eagles have already won $2,000 to help out Rocky Mountain Adaptive. That alone is a game-changer for the charity.
“The main thing that it will help us do is reduce those barriers, allow more people to access sport and recreation in the mountains,” Cosman added.
“We would like to create a camp that is fully inclusive and allows people that have never experienced mountain sport and recreation to come out free of charge, access these sports and engage members of the community to come out to the camp as well.”
Voting for the Good Deeds Cup is open until Feb. 24.