The Canucks‘ Sven Baertschi has pledged a $500 donation to Hockey Education Reaching Out Society for every goal he scores this year. The Switzerland native has been working with HEROS since 2014 when he played for the Calgary Flames, and is now an ambassador for the program.
Called Sven Scores for HEROS, this is just one more way Baertschi is contributing to the organization, which states its mission as “empowering children on ice.” HEROS provides free ice hockey programming for at-risk kids to teach life skills and empower them.
In the young season, Baertschi has already donated $2,500 with his five goals. For Baertschi, however, it’s less of a donation than a return. “They’re also so happy and upbeat, it’s amazing to see,” Baertschi said, via Fort Nucks. “Knowing I’m able to make a difference for these kids is important to me. Being able to connect my career with helping them is even better. I’ve never enjoyed scoring goals so much!”
Baertschi scored 18 goals in 2016, and will look to top that number this year. Baertschi thinks that sports go beyond competition, and can serve as a platform to not only do good, but allow others to have fun. “Coming from Switzerland, I know how hockey can make a person feel included and fit in,” Baertschi said. “Sport is a great way to meet friends and what HEROS does is no different. It’s great to see that each kid has their own unique story, but when they’re all together, no matter what city it is across Canada, they are all equals, they are all empowered, they are all HEROS.”
Other NHL ambassadors include Dougie Hamilton, Joel Ward, Matt Dumba and Jay Boewmeester. Baertschi’s contributions aid that mission, and he’ll be hoping to provide a lot more aid as the season goes on.