Ehrlo Sport Venture’s Outdoor Hockey League (OHL) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It is a time for us to reflect on the past and plan for the future. From its humble beginnings in a Regina classroom to a league that now welcomes over 300 youth a year, the OHL allows all youth the opportunity to play hockey by removing the financial barriers.
Each year, Regina inner-city youth line up to receive hockey equipment and skates to take part in the Outdoor Hockey League (OHL). Providing the equipment is an expensive undertaking and it is only made possible through the generous donation of new and used hockey gear from organizations and individuals.
The four Optimist clubs in Regina (Optimist Club of Regina, High Noon Optimist Club of Regina, Downtown Optimist Club of Regina, and Sundown Optimist Club of Regina) donate over 300 hockey sticks every year to the youth in the OHL. The program is called Optimist Sticks for Kids.
“When the Optimists clubs were first approached, the project was an ideal fit as our creed is ‘friend of youth,” explained Leroy Larsen, Optimist Club member. “This also gave us a joint project to allow us to work with the other clubs.”
Canadian Optimists are dynamic, motivated volunteers who strive to improve, to participate in, to influence and to contribute to the healthy development of young people and know how to put their individual skills to good use in response to the needs of their communities.
Each year the clubs spend approximately $5,000 to $6,000 on sticks. At the end of the season, the kids return their equipment but get to keep their sticks for warmer hockey activities like shinny.
Leroy added, “We place the relationship with the OHL and Ranch Ehrlo as one our most important partnerships and look forward to many more.”
The clubs raise the funds for OHL and other Regina community projects through a series of fundraisers.
Today the OHL is gearing up for its next season which kicks off in December. Registrations for the 2022-2023 season will open soon.
We will also be celebrating our upcoming anniversary with a celebratory family skating event on November 2nd from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. at the Brandt Centre rink for Ehrlo Sport Venture players, parents, volunteers, and sponsors. Come skate on the same rink as the Regina Pats! If you are interested in coming, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!