Age 15, (HOCKEY QUEBEC)
What the Assist Fund means to me: Saida Hammouch
The Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund helped Saida’s son Aymane embrace the game he loves and find his place in a new country
Three years ago, I moved my family from France to Quebec. My 15-year-old son Aymane was so happy to move to Canada and be able to live in a country that is passionate about the sport he loves so much – hockey.
Aymane picked up hockey at the young age of four when we lived in Paris, but there aren’t a lot of hockey clubs there like in Canada. He always wanted more from the sport and tried his hardest to learn and grow while in France.
When I changed jobs and got an opportunity to move my three kids to Quebec, Aymane was so excited to play hockey where so many other young kids play every day. All my kids play hockey, but Aymane lives and breathes the game. It is so hard to get him off the ice after practice or a game.
Coming to a new country is a challenge, and it is expensive. Without the Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund, I wouldn’t have been able to keep Aymane in the game.
I heard about the Assist Fund through our registrar when I went to register Aymane for the season. I didn’t have a steady salary at the time, and they explained what the Assist Fund could do for my family. I applied online and we are so grateful to have been accepted.
The Assist Fund was so important to us because I couldn’t have made the hockey season work without it for Aymane. He completely understood what was happening and I couldn’t imagine not being able to keep him playing. Aymane was so grateful to get the assist, which kept him playing this season.
Hockey is a family activity for us – all my kids play the sport, and we are at the arena every day. It provides a great way to dispel all their energy, learn discipline and make friends. It is also like a second family for us – there is so much solidarity with the players and teammates.
Aymane was passionate about hockey the first time he stepped on the ice. He would like to continue to play hockey throughout his life – he wants to stay in the game for as long as possible. He would love to be a trainer for a team when he is older.
Like many other Canadian parents, I want to do what is best for my kids and give them everything they want. For families that don’t have much extra money available or have financial difficulties, this is an incredible opportunity. We want our kids to dream, and having the Assist Fund allows many families to make that happen across Canada.
We were so happy to have access to the Assist Fund and a chance to keep Aymane playing the game he loves so much. The possibilities are endless when kids stay in sports, and I hope many other kids across Canada have the same opportunity Aymane had through the Assist Fund.