Ds Scholarship

Province gives OHL $3M to help meet scholarship obligations

The Ontario Hockey League will receive $3 million from the provincial government to help meet its academic scholarship commitments for current and former players on its 17 Ontario-based teams.

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The Ontario Hockey League will receive $3 million from the provincial government to help meet its academic scholarship commitments for current and former players on its 17 Ontario-based teams.

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The funding was announced Tuesday in Oshawa as part of a $30-million pledge aimed at stabilizing Ontario’s sport and recreation sector by helping offset increased costs as a result of COVID-19 and supporting future recovery in communities across the province.

“The OHL scholarship and academic programs are a key part of our player experience and this funding helps to ensure this program continues to thrive,” league commissioner David Branch said.

Last year, the Ford government handed the OHL $2.35 million to pay its scholarship bills. The league ended up canceling the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

“Ontario’s sport and recreation sector was among the first and hardest hit by the pandemic,” Lisa MacLeod, minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, said. “Our government recognizes how important sport and recreation is to our physical and mental well-being, and to the economic well-being of Ontario communities. As we emerge from the pandemic, this investment will help ensure families and athletes are able to return to the sports and activities they love.”

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The OHL claims it directly supports 327 full-time jobs in the province, plus 831 part-time jobs, 176 student interns, 1,100 volunteers and 327 player alumni on league-financed scholarships at universities and colleges in Ontario and abroad.

The province also sent $20 million to ministry-recognized provincial sport organizations and multi-sport organizations, and $7 million to the Ontario Sport Network to distribute to local community-based sport and recreation organizations through an application process.

rpyette@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/RyanatLFPress

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