Most Canadians will tell you that hockey is more than just a sport – it’s a way of life. It teaches important life lessons, while forging lifelong friendships. It is a source of pride and community. At Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS), we believe that every young person should have the opportunity to learn those life skills that come from playing team sports like hockey, regardless of their situation in life. That’s why we channel our passion for hockey, to help improve the lives of at-risk and marginalized youth.
The HEROS program provides a protected environment where youth use hockey to develop physically, mentally and emotionally. The experiences we create encourage kids to listen, respect and practice self-discipline – all while having fun!
With TELUS’ help, our program has grown significantly since its launch 15 years ago. Starting from humble beginnings in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, we have expanded to 16 programs in eight cities as well as an international program based out of Belfast, Northern Ireland. These expansions were made possible throughout the last 10 years thanks to TELUS’ continued support as our National Presenting Partner. With TELUS’ assistance, we’ve now helped over 4,000 young people throughout Canada learn valuable life lessons through hockey.
In 2015, we are looking forward to celebrating the graduation of numerous young people who have learned how to thrive. Kids who weren’t on track to graduate high school have pulled themselves up and are, not only, graduating on time, they are setting life goals that include finding jobs or attending vocational and/or post-secondary schools.
With TELUS’ help, we had the opportunity to tell the story of one of our very special HEROS, Malik. Malik came to HEROS as a young kid who was ready to throw in the towel. Now, eight years later, Malik is one of our All Stars who is growing into a contributing member of his community, finishing high school and looking towards a bright future. Watch the video below to learn more about Malik’s story:
Thanks TELUS for telling Malik’s Story!
Norm Flynn is the Founder and Executive Director of HEROS. For more information on the HEROS program, visit their website at heroshockey.com.