Even as a baby, Everly loved hockey. As a three-month-old, strangers
jokingly asked me if she was a Canadian because of how intently she watched
a game on television in a hotel restaurant.
By two years old, I couldn’t stop Everly from getting her hands on the
hockey sticks at the community gym. She took her first strides after only
the second time on the ice. Hockey is in her blood.
I didn’t grow up playing hockey, but I saw my daughter’s love for the game
and worked hard to learn about the sport. I got her involved in skating
lessons, hockey tots, and parent-and-tot ice time. Anything that would
allow her to enjoy the game she so obviously loved.
She joined her first hockey team at four-and-a-half years old and now, as a
seven-year-old, she hasn’t stopped. Being on the ice – challenging herself,
scoring goals and battling with her friends – is still her favourite thing
But if it weren’t for the Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund, Everly
wouldn’t be on the ice at all. Because of an injury I sustained and the
effects of the pandemic, I have been off work. Without access to the Assist
Fund, I wouldn’t have been able to pay for her registration fees. It meant
a lot to get that help so she could keep playing the game she loves with
her coaches, friends and teammates. I learned about the Assist Fund through
a friend’s social media post, and it helped cover Everly’s registration
fees for last season.
She was born to play hockey. She enjoys getting to play every position with
the Tri-Cities Predators, especially when she scores goals. Everly was even
invited to a goalie clinic, where she was the youngest player in the TCFIHA
to participate. Her coaches called her the ‘celly queen’ two seasons ago
because of how she celebrated scoring goals (she even got the award for
best celebrations by a sniper).
Everly and I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos of player and
goalie techniques so she can get better on the ice. She talks constantly
about hockey and makes me help her sort out her hockey cards into albums.
She has memorized every team.
When it comes to hockey, Everly dreams big. She wants to play for Team
Canada in the Olympics and win gold medals. She also wants to play in the
National Hockey League when she grows up, just like Manon Rhéaume did for
the Tampa Bay Lightning.
She knows that to achieve her dreams, she needs to keep working on her
skills and learning from her coaches. I didn’t know a lot about hockey when
Everly first started, but we’ve learned together, and hockey is something
we do together every day.
None of that would have been possible without the Assist Fund. It makes her
happy to be on the ice and build friendships, and I hope more families get
the support they need, like we did when we needed it. Everly can chase her
hockey dreams because of the Hockey Canada Foundation and the Assist Fund.
Applications are now being accepted for the Hockey Canada Foundation
Assist Fund. To apply, or to donate to help kids like Everly play the