A group of former players who make up the BCHL Alumni Association have launched the BCHL Player Assistance Fund to help support players financially during the COVID-19 affected BCHL season.
In recent months, the league announced plans to begin the 2020-21 regular season with no fans in the stands due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the Provincial Health Office. With no revenue from ticket sales to start the season, players and their families have been required to pay fees beyond their typical billet payments in order to help fund a season with no fans.
With this in mind, the Alumni Association created the Player Assistance Fund with the goal of offsetting some of these costs to the players.
“We understand the difficulty that this pandemic has caused everyone, especially financially,” said BCHL Alumni Association member and former Victoria Grizzlies forward Madison Dias. “BCHL players and their families are in a tough situation trying to make ends meet, while also trying to give their sons the best opportunity to further their hockey careers. That’s why we’ve setup a GoFundMe where people can donate money to directly help these players in this difficult time.”
Dias, who went on to play four years at Cornell University after his BCHL playing career, is one of four main members of the Alumni Association. The others include former Cowichan Valley Capital and University of Notre Dame grad Shayne Taker, who went on to play in the AHL and ECHL, Derek Lee who played for Victoria and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks before playing four years at the University of Wisconsin and Jake Baker who played for four different BCHL teams and went on to play at Northern Michigan University, as well as stops in the AHL and ECHL. Baker currently works for the BCHL League Office as the Coordinator of Financial Services and Events.
“The BCHL was so important for me in my development as a hockey player and for me securing an education at Cornell, which has allowed me to explore opportunities beyond hockey after my playing career was done,” said Dias. “We all want to give back to league and to the players in those communities that supported us over the years and we thought this would be a great way to accomplish that.”
Click here to visit the Player Assistance Fund on GoFundMe to make a donation.