B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Donated hockey equipment is shown in Vancouver high school hockey coach Todd Hickling’s basement in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Hickling

A hockey coach in Vancouver says cost shouldn’t be a barrier to trying out Canada’s national winter sport.

Todd Hickling put out calls through his network asking for donations of used hockey gear so that any girl at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School could join the team.

“One of the reasons that a lot of players don’t get to experience what it’s like to play hockey is the cost,” he said.

Hickling says he has been overwhelmed by the support of the community, which has made enough donations to create a “gear library” and ensure the fees are covered for the fledgling team.

“Girls come in who don’t have equipment, we fit them with used hockey gear that’s just right for them, and that removes one of the large barriers,” he said.

The school’s parent advisory council raised enough money to cover the team’s fees and Abbie’s Sport Shop also donated new “jills,” which are groin protectors and cost $50 each alone, he said.

The Tupper Tigers, who are in Grades 8 through 12, hit the ice for the first time last week and are preparing for their first game in January as one of eight teams in a high school league.

Hickling, who has two kids at the school, says he believes there should be more opportunities for “late beginners” to try out the sport, especially girls who often have fewer opportunities to play.

“I’m excited to get the season started and see what we can do. We’ve been on the ice twice and it was fantastic, the girls who can play can mentor the girls who are just learning,” he said.

“Some are learning basic skating skills, others can skate a bit and are learning stick and puck skills. It’s nice to see everybody working together.”

Read more: Former NHL’er dishes on life after hockey

Read more: Local firm steps up to help Penticton hockey player’s fundraiser

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs acquire veteran forward from QMJHL

Matthew Grouchy set to join the Bulldogs on Friday, Dec. 13

BUDGET 2020: WVIHS rolls out five-year plan for Port Alberni heritage train

Port Alberni council considers options in budget preparation

Alberni high school students fill Salvation Army van full of food

ADSS Athletic Dept.’s eighth annual food drive fills van, bellies with food donations

Island businessman opens up about his journey with prostate cancer

Port Alberni’s Kevin Wright shares online journal entries to help others understand

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read