The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League has announced a player support program along with Co-op, raising funds to help with mental health assistance and counselling.
SJHL President Bill Chow says the 12 teams are owned by their community and hockey is a huge part of their lives.
He said something like the devastating crash on Friday night has a huge impact, not just on the team, but for families, billet families and fans alike.
“What it means to people in Saskatchewan is that hockey is bred into you,” he said. “It’s part of our life. Winters are cold, if you haven’t noticed. Springs are cold, if you haven’t noticed. That’s the way it is.”
“You go to the rink because it’s a part of the community.”
To get things started, 44 local Co-ops have donated $135,000 to the Assistance Program, which Federated Cooperatives Limited says it will match, and will continue to match up to $500,000.
Chow says along with the mental health assistance, if there are extra funds available, it will go to an education program in memory of the 15 lives lost in the bus crash.