Cosburn Middle School students help hockey HEROS program

Outdoor game for youth played at Dieppe Park East York Mirror

East York’s Cosburn Middle School teamed up with the Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) to give some Toronto youth who rarely get the opportunity to play traditional outdoor hockey a chance to hit the ice – and to raise awareness about the charity’s impact. The Cosburn HEROS Winter Classic was held at the Dieppe Park rink on Feb. 7 where more than 30 HEROS players, amalgamated from the Regent Park area, got on the ice and took off with the puck. A total of 35 Grade 7 and 8 Cosburn students ran the game, from managing equipment to coaching and refereeing. “Our class didn’t just want to raise money and send it off somewhere,” said Alexander Markovic, a Grade 7 and 8 core teacher at Cosburn, on why his students were gravitated towards the cause. “They wanted to do something tangible, where they could interact with the kids, learn their stories and see the results of their deeds.” HEROS has operated in the city for nearly a decade, providing a weekly mentorship program where hockey is used as a benchmark to provide basic life skills and self-empowerment. Because of the high costs to play hockey today, it’s often participants’ first time on skates. Markovic believes a “lasting legacy” will be created. “HEROS actually wants to replicate our model nationally, they want to take what we’ve done here and instill it in branches across the country.”

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