President of Morden Minor Hockey Steve Mullin and director of Pembina Valley Minor Hockey Greg Ens received funds from the Esso Cup planning committee chair Clare Agnew. (LAUREN MACGILL, Morden Times)
The Esso Cup committee disbursed just over $17,000 to help out two local hockey organizations.
Morden Minor Hockey received $6,000.
“It’s hard to put into words,” president of Morden Minor Hockey Steve Mullin said. “Everything you do, every project that you take on has a cost involved, and you have to try to find ways to finance it. When you get a cheque like that, all of the sudden that’s not a worry at all.”
The money will be going toward player and official development with a specific focus on girls’ and women’s hockey.
“It’s something that has grown exponentially here in the last couple of years,” Mullin said. “We’ve really tried to become a focus and a hub for female hockey, and this is going to be one more thing that promotes us and it’s a big step in that direction for us.”
Mullin said the numbers of participants in female hockey in Morden have jumped this year.
“We’ve got a female team at every level of hockey right now,” Mullin said. “We really think that we are taking steps in the right direction and we’re hoping to see equal amounts of growth next year in both players and officials.”
To Mullin, it’s exciting to see so many girls and women getting into hockey. “It’s not just a boys’ sport,” he said. “It’s a sport for everybody. To see girls come in and not only enjoy it but excel in it, that’s something special and something that really keeps this ball rolling in the direction we’re hoping it does.”
$11,600 went to Pembina Valley Minor Hockey.
“It’s a big surprise for us to receive an amount of money like this,” director of Pembina Valley Minor Hockey Greg Ens said. “We’re looking forward to finding a place to use it.”
Pembina Valley Minor Hockey will also be using the money for development, including officials and female hockey.
“Our operating budget is not that much more than this,” Ens said. “Its something that is going to help us and the region for years to come.”
The money comes from the 2017 Esso Cup, which brought out more people to the event than the committee had anticipated. The legacy fund created after the event has been put toward many different organizations, including donating towels to Genesis House and Katie’s Cottage and installing a bench in the Access Event Centre to commemorate Todd Krassman, VIP Transportation chair who passed away six days after the event.