Elk Point Minor Hockey Association (EPMHA) received a special gift from the NHL Player’s Association (NHLPA), 14 full sets of hockey gear. The equipment came with the help of Edmonton Oiler, and former Elk Point resident, Mark Letestu. Vice-President of EPMHA, Tyler Warawa, says the gear will ensure that every kid, no matter the age, size, or financial situation will be able to enjoy the sport.
Warawa explains Mark Letestu contacted EPMHA to make sure the organization knew about the fantastic opportunity, “he said it would be good if we put in an application for the NHLPA’s Goals & Dreams program. I did up an application, which was like a proposal for whatever the club needs, as far as equipment goes. We did one up for 14 sets and it goes four year olds to 16-17 year olds. We have two sets of each size.” The organization hopes that as kids grow there will always be a set of equipment to use.
Kids will get to use the equipment, free of charge, for the entire season and return it when they’re done, explains Warawa. “We just got the equipment in October, so we haven’t promoted it too much,” EPMHA didn’t want to spread the word and excite kids until they knew for sure the equipment was coming. Now that it’s here, Warawa said one kid is making good use of it, with the opportunity for many more. “Now that we have it, we’re trying to promote it more and more, so we can get more kids to come out and play.”
EPMHA will use the same standards that Kidsport uses when determining who qualifies for the equipment, explains Warawa, “anyone who signs up for hockey and uses Kidsport for funding would have the opportunity to use the equipment. If we have left over we’ll promote to the community for anybody to use it.”The program has been named, Letestu’s Locker to honour the NHL’er who Warawa suspects helped behind the scenes to ensure the organization received the equipment.
Plans are in the works for Letestu to come to Elk Point and skate with the kids in Minor Hockey. When that happens the organization will use the opportunity to host an appreciation of some sort. LCN will keep you posted when plans are finalized and whether or not the event will be open to the public.