Twenty-five elementary school students – including two local students who attend École élémentaire catholique Mgr-Rémi-Gaulin in Kingston – received new head-to-toe hockey gear on Monday, then got to try it out in a hockey game played at the outdoor rink on Parliament Hill.
Senator Léo Housakos presented the hockey equipment to the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) students as a way to encourage more involvement in the sport.
The gifts were made possible by a donation from the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund to the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Hockey Program “Come Together” which partnered with the Fondation des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (FECCE).
The FECCE describes its mission as promoting student well-being and helping underprivileged children participate in school activities, extracurriculars, sports, and recreational and cultural activities by providing school supplies and covering registration fees.
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Come Together is one way the FECCE fulfills that mission “by helping families and children get involved in a sport that gives them a chance to develop healthy lifestyle habits and sportsmanship and giving kids an amazing experience.”
Director of the FECCE, Jean-François Bard, thanked the members of the FECCE, the CECCE, the RCMP, and the PPS for their outstanding collaboration, saying their participation in the NHLPA’s program made many children’s dreams come true.
Also at the event was CECCE’s Director of Education, Réjean Sirois. “I was delighted to drop the puck for a friendly match starring CECCE students,” said Sirois. “As Director of Education, seeing the stars in their eyes at that very moment this Christmas season was truly heartwarming.”
The CECCE has more than 23,500 students in its 43 elementary schools and 12 high schools, in addition to its school for adults. The largest Canadian network of French-language schools outside Quebec, the school board says its students achieve the highest results in the province and it has a 96% graduation rate.
See also: The RCMP media release about this event