MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens hosted their 7th annual bursary award ceremony with the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence. In 2008, the Club announced a three-year investment totalling $100,000 towards the Foundation – a donation that made it possible for the organization to create a program to support men and women’s ice hockey. Three years ago, the Canadiens announced their renewed partnership with the Foundation with a donation of $250,000 spread out over five years (2011 to 2015), donating $50,000 each year.
As a result, Montreal Canadiens President Geoff Molson presented twenty-eight $1,500 scholarships to hockey players between 15 and 17 years of age. Eight of the scholarships were handed out to female hockey players from Quebec’s provincial squad aiming at making the Canadian national team, while twenty scholarships were given to players from the Midget AAA League. The awards ceremony was held at the Bell Centre prior to the game between the Canadiens and the visiting Calgary Flames.
Since 2012, the bursaries are divided in two categories with 16 Academic Excellence Bursaries awarded to student-athletes in hockey who achieved impressive academic results and 12 other students-athletes were awarded an Academic and Athletic Success Support Bursary, created in 2013 to encourage student-athletes in the dual pursuit of academics and athletics, a true challenge for many high performance athletes. This serves as a reminder to athletes that scholastic achievements remain an important eligibility criterion to better prepare for a post-athletic career.
“Part of our implication in the community is made through our commitment to sports activities for children and particularly the growth of young hockey players, thus contributing to the development of the next generation of players,” said Canadiens owner, President and CEO Geoff Molson. “Our goal is not restricted to producing good hockey players, but to make sure that kids enjoy playing the game and realize the importance of a good education as they prepare for adulthood. I congratulate all recipients not only for their achievements but for showing us that success is the result of a strong commitment. Each recipient honoured here today is already a model for those looking to follow in their footsteps.”
“The Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence deeply supports young hockey players to do everything they possibly can to continue on with their academic program and reach their goals. Particularly in the sport of hockey, many players dream about playing at the NHL level but statistics tend to demonstrate that many are called but few are chosen. Preparing for a career after hockey becomes essential in order for them to achieve their full potential professionally, over and above their athletic career. The program also promotes serious and balanced hockey players as role models for the younger generation of hockey players“, said Claude Chagnon, President of the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence.
Recipients for 2014 were selected based on both their athletic achievements and academic merit while continuing their secondary or post-secondary education. The Montreal Canadiens Bursary Program is managed by the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence in partnership with Hockey Québec and the Midget AAA League. Hockey Québec General Manager Sylvain B. Lalonde and Midget AAA League President Gaston Therrien said they were very pleased with the support of the Montreal Canadiens and the
work done by the Foundation to support young hockey players. “The Canadiens’ annual contribution to this bursary program is a social commitment appreciated by both organizations and by the student-athletes. Their support reinforces our athletic and academic development goals for each player,” added Lalonde and Therrien.
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