By providing funding assistance, the mission of Athletics for Kids (A4K) is to ensure all BC children, regardless of their socioeconomic status, have access to youth amateur sport.
When Cheryl-Ann Henning requested funding from A4K to register her son Ben in hockey for the first time, the organization had no idea how significant the sports grant would be to this family. Ben and his mother previously faced domestic circumstances that they were fortunate enough to escape, only to run head-on into the challenges of starting life over.
As Cheryl-Ann puts it:
“Ben’s dream to play ice hockey for a league, and passion for the sport, was born playing road hockey on the playground at Brackendale Elementary School. At the time Ben was seven and his parents’ ongoing acrimonious divorce proceedings left him living a life between the communities of Howe Sound and the Tri-Cities. Tragically, these circumstances resulted in diminishing any opportunities for his involvement in either organized sports or more importantly, learning to ice skate.
In the summer of 2013, Ben’s life miraculously turned positive and he was able to finally pursue his dream of playing ice hockey with the goal of one day playing for North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association (NVMHA). Ben’s determination to realize his dream began with teaching himself to ice skate and attending Hockey Academy at Canlan Ice Sports. By spring 2014, Ben was ready to play in Canlan’s YHL Spring League with the end goal of participating in NVHMA’s try-outs for their 2014/15 season.”
Ben’s mother had no idea how she was going to ensure that Ben’s dream and goal of playing with NVMHA would be realized. But thanks to financial support from A4K, Ben was given the opportunity to pursue his dream of playing in the YHL Spring 2014 season. A4K also assisted with the NVMHA league fees so he was able to begin playing in their 2014/15 season. Ben’s passion and determination to succeed at ice hockey, together with A4K’s financial support, have resulted in Ben excelling on the ice as part of his team.
Ben turned 13 on December 24, 2014. With the financial support he received from A4K not only has his dream come true but also his passion for ice hockey remains fueled and his hope of continuing play burns bright.
“The financial support I received from A4K helped make my dream of playing ice hockey come true. It also gave me the opportunity of finally being able to be like my peers who all are playing sports in the North Shore community. This fantastic experience has gained me respect and acceptance from my school peers and given me coaches and teammates that have become the difference-makers in my life. Thank you A4K for the important work you do for kids like me – just wanting to pursue sport – like my friends do!”