Toronto, ON – January 19, 2011 − The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) today announced that it has created an advisory board that will help CHL players and graduates navigate through their lives as hockey players, students and professionals.
The Champions Advisory Board will be complemented by an awareness campaign designed to profile league alumni and make more players, families and fans aware of the unique combination of hockey and academic training available to CHL players.
“The Canadian Hockey League offers its players tuition scholarships and life skills that lead to a variety of careers – from law enforcement to medicine to professional athletics,” said CHL President David Branch. “This advisory board gives our players yet another resource to help ensure not only that they have an outstanding experience in the CHL, but also that they are properly prepared for whatever career path that they choose.”
One year of college or university tuition and books is offered for each year of CHL play. In 2009/10 $4.45 million in scholarships was awarded to more than 1,000 players.
The Champions Advisory Board will consist of league alumni and industry leaders in disciplines including academics, fitness, nutrition, sports psychology and day-to-day life in the CHL. Hockey broadcaster and former Medicine Hat Tiger Kelly Hrudey, sports psychologist and former OHL coach (Toronto) Paul Dennis, and former QMJHL star (Verdun) turned sports marketer Joel Bouchard are some of the first advisors named to the board.
“Personally, some of my best memories in the game are from the years spent with the Medicine Hat Tigers (1978-1981) when I chose to leave home for the first time,” said Hrudey. “I am proud to help make more North Americans aware of the unique combination of professional-style hockey, education and character building that CHL players receive, and to be a sounding board for players.”
The Champions Awareness campaign will highlight graduates who have used the CHL as a springboard to careers and will also be supported throughout the 2010/11 season by teams and broadcast partners who will profile success stories and share public service announcements during games.
About Canadian Hockey League
The Canadian Hockey League is the world’s largest development hockey league with 51 Canadian and nine American teams participating in the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League. CHL players graduate from high school at a rate higher than the Canadian national average. Last season, more than nine million fans attended CHL games in the regular season, playoffs and at the MasterCard Memorial Cup. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League than any other league. Last season 692 graduates attended North American post-secondary institution on scholarships from CHL teams.