BCHL alumni launch fund to support players affected by COVID-19

Alumni come to players' aid

The BC Hockey League's alumni association is coming to the aid of players affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the league planning to go ahead with the 2020-2021 season with no fans due to COVID-19 restrictions, players have been required to pay fees beyond billet payments in order to help fund the season.

To help offset some of those costs, the alumni association has created the Player Assistance Fund.

“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 played four seasons at Cornell University, is one of four main members of the association.

Other members 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 is currently employed in the BCHL office as co-ordinator 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.”

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