>> Leafs Put $2 Million Towards Growing the Game
November 14, 2006
(TORONTO) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Leafs Fund announced Tuesday they have made a $2 million commitment to Hockey Canada to support development programs and initiatives. The $2 million financial commitment announcement was made at the Hockey Hall of Fame by Leafs General Manager John Ferguson and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Anselmi.
"As one of the Original Six NHL teams we're seen as leaders in hockey, so it's important that the Leafs also take a leadership position in continuing to further develop the sport, ensuring its future remains strong," said Ferguson. "Given hockey's changing landscape, it's important we continue to support player development at all levels."
The $2 million commitment is the single largest grant made to any organization by the Leafs Fund. The money will be used to support different levels of hockey programming.
"We wanted to make a difference in hockey development, so we looked to the Leafs Fund and Leafs Hockey Development," Anselmi said. "Our financial commitment to Hockey Canada through the Leafs Fund will have a positive impact on many future hockey players whose goal is to play professionally or just want to play the game."
"Hockey Canada would like to recognize the Toronto Maple Leafs and their vision and commitment to enhance all levels of the game of hockey through this funding," said Bob Nicholson, president of Hockey Canada. "We look forward to working closely with the Leafs, the Ontario Hockey Federation and all of its member partners here in Ontario, in developing priorities and initiatives each season, utilizing this funding to enhance the experience, education and skills of the most number of participants possible."
During the news conference, the team also unveiled further details about Leafs Nation Hockey Headquarters, the Leafs and Marlies new practice facility, scheduled for completion in 2008 to be located in the Lakeshore-Etobicoke area of Toronto.
The state-of-the-art practice facility will include four ice pads - three NHL-size pads and one Olympic-size ice pad - a spectator area that can seat up to 4,000 fans, close to 30,000 square feet of Leafs and Marlies training space that will house first-rate training and exercise facilities, a medical room to support diagnosis and treatment; and a physiotherapy room that supports rehabilitation and recovery.
In addition, Hockey Canada's Ontario Regional Office and the Hockey Hall of Fame's Resource Centre and Archives will also be tenants in the new building.
"We're excited to partner with hockey leaders to develop what we believe will become an epicenter for the sport that caters to every level - from grassroots to high performance," Ferguson added. "We aspire to make Leafs Nation Hockey Headquarters synonymous with hockey development and a successful global model - an intelligence centre that will set the standard for training and high performance in hockey worldwide."
The Leafs Hockey Development team will also use Leafs Nation Hockey Headquarters for clinics and programs, taking their outreach efforts of bringing hockey to Ontario's youth to a new level.
Leafs Hockey Development is committed to shaping the future of hockey in Canada by increasing access, opportunity and youth skill development. Leafs Hockey Development team holds hundreds of clinics and programs each year, bringing hockey to thousands of children in Ontario who may not otherwise have an opportunity to experience it.
The Leafs Fund makes a difference by improving the lives of children and youth through access to sports and recreation opportunities that encourage health and wellness in our community.