– Team Rogers Community Draft program provides thousands of youth athletes with $150 each towards league registration fees –
– Kids also to receive mentoring from Team Rogers teammates Connor McDavid, John Tavares, Bo Horvat, Marie-Philip Poulin, Bianca Andreescu, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Bo Bichette –
TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Young Canadian athletes have a game-changing opportunity to hear from their heroes as Rogers today announced the launch of Team Rogers Community Draft. The nationwide program is aimed at helping Canadian youth and their families return to playing recreational sports in their communities, when and where it is safe to do so. Recognizing that organized sports may look a little different than usual this season, the program invites all families across Canada with children ages 5 to 17 who play – or want to play – organized youth hockey, baseball, or tennis to apply to be drafted to Team Rogers. Starting initially with hockey this fall, “drafted” youth athletes will receive $150 to help offset league fees, plus mentoring calls with Team Rogers professional athletes, Team Rogers merchandise, and other unique sports experiences. Applicant selection to Team Rogers will be through a random draw.
“Sport has the power to unite Canadians across the country, and as families continue to look for ways to manage life through COVID, we know that the role of sports in kids’ lives is more important than ever,” said Joe Natale, President & CEO, Rogers Communications. “With the Team Rogers Community Draft, Rogers has the unique privilege of leveraging our sports partners and media assets to help reignite the passion for sports while making it just a little bit easier for thousands of families to be part of the games they love.”
The National Hockey League, which recently set out a new strategic plan for inclusion and culture change in the sport, will support the Team Rogers Community Draft by selecting 150 BIPOC boys and girls playing hockey in Canada to take part in the program.
“The next generation of hockey players will not only bring a new level of talent and creativity, but a new level of diversity and inclusion to the game,” said Kim Davis, Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth and Legislative Affairs at the National Hockey League. “We are appreciative of our partnership with Rogers, and their commitment to providing access and opportunities for underrepresented players and their families.”
Given the ongoing realities of the pandemic, Team Rogers will be there to lend support along the way and to help families find hope and joy through sport, whether it be modified games, limited travel, or stops and starts to the season.
“Though we are eager to get back to doing what we do best, the barriers to participation in youth hockey across Canada are greater than ever,” said Jason Hale of the Bedford Minor Hockey Association in Halifax. “We are grateful to Rogers for not only providing financial assistance to help kids get back on the ice, but also for offering these amazing mentorship experiences with our sports heroes.”
Professional athletes already on Team Rogers and ready to mentor their new teammates include Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers), John Tavares (Toronto Maple Leafs), Bo Horvat (Vancouver Canucks), Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg Jets), Marie-Philip Poulin (Team Canada Hockey), Bianca Andreescu (Tennis Canada), Felix Auger-Aliassime (Tennis Canada), Bo Bichette (Toronto Blue Jays), and many more.
Families with youth athletes are invited to apply to join their heroes at rogers.com/GetDrafted. Random draft selections will start with hockey, with later draft classes planned for baseball and tennis athletes. Registration for the first draft class runs from September 29 to October 30, 2020, supporting young athletes as they return to community hockey.
Proof of registration to a recognized hockey/baseball/tennis sports organization, waiver completion, and skill-testing question are required upon application.
This year we celebrate Team Rogers Community Draft as part of The 60 Project, a year-long initiative to mark Rogers’s 60th anniversary by giving back and investing to build a stronger Canada – from volunteering, monetary donations, fundraising support, and investing in the networks that keep Canadians connected.
Rogers is a proud Canadian company dedicated to making more possible for Canadians each and every day. Our founder, Ted Rogers, purchased his first radio station, CHFI, in 1960. We have grown to become a leading technology and media company that strives to provide the very best in wireless, residential, sports, and media to Canadians and Canadian businesses. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). If you want to find out more about us, visit about.rogers.com.