Skating towards your dreams

Dreams Come True brings hockey into the lives of children who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to play

Tenant youth on an ice rink dressed in hockey equipment

Chase hits the ice!

Amy and her 11-year-old son, Chase, are TCHC tenants residing in the east end of the city. This spring, they were approached by a coordinator in the community to find out if they would be interested in the Dreams Come True Program, supported by the Hockey Canada Foundation.

Dreams Come True brings hockey into the lives of children who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to play. The program pays the registration fees and provides free equipment to participants. On March 6th, children participated in the Dreams Come True event, made possible by a generous sponsorship from Local 416, TCEU (Toronto Civic Employees Union) and the Toronto Police Association.

While Amy and her two children are active in their local community centre programs, this is the first time they have participated in a program of this scale and were pleasantly surprised with the outcome. According to Chase, β€œTo play hockey for the first time was a pretty good experience. It was organized, fun and very engaging and the people that worked there were very nice too.”

Dreams Come True program participants

Dreams Come True program participants

Chase has long been interested in hockey, and was excited when this opportunity came up for him. The interest runs in the family, as his mother has a background in figure skating. Through the program, Chase learned how to skate, how to balance himself on the ice with his hockey stick, and he even scored his first goal! Taking his equipment home, he used it again almost immediately the next weekend at Nathan Phillips Square. The family plans to use it this summer at indoor rinks as well.

For Amy, it means a lot for her son to have his own hockey equipment. β€œI thought it was great that my son could participate in something like this because hockey equipment and skates are not cheap,” she said. Amy feels proud that her son had the opportunity to play hockey, and is now looking into other ways her children can participate in sports-oriented activities offered by TCHC.

The Hockey Canada Foundation also has a new program called the Assist Fund, which was created in response to the many families experiencing financial challenges as a result of COVID-19. The Fund is to help Canadian youth access hockey and return to the sport that they love. Applications for the 2022-2023 hockey season will open this August.