Ontario sets $2.35 million for OHL post-secondary scholarships as part of initiative

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TORONTO — The Ontario Hockey League will receive $2.35 million from the Ontario government as part of $15.3 million in funding to support sport and recreation organizations and high-performance athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, made the announcement today.

MacLeod said the OHL funding will be for the league’s post-secondary education scholarships for athletes with its 17 Ontario-based clubs.

MacLeod added each OHL franchise will receive approximately $138,000 for help with player scholarship commitments.

The OHL is the only one of Canada’s three major-junior hockey leagues not to start its season yet.

The other initiatives include in Wednesday’s announcement include:

  • $3 million in 2020-21 for SPORT4ONTARIO to deliver a pilot program that helps youth and their families regain confidence in sport and recreation activities.
  • $3.6 million for 63 recognized provincial sport organizations.
  • $6.36 million in 2020-21 for Quest for Gold Canada to support approximately 550 provincial athlete who’ve reached national competition level, as part of Quest for Gold’s Canada Card program.

Ontario becomes the latest province to announce some level of funding for major-junior hockey during the pandemic.

Saskatchewan has given $3 million combined to its five Western Hockey League teams.

Alberta has introduced a program that allows WHL teams and other sports and arts organizations to apply for 25 per cent of eligible expenses on their two most recent financial statements.

Quebec has given $12 million combined to its 12 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League clubs.