As an event to bring down the curtain on the 2017-18 Elite League season, the inaugural Puck Aid event brought together ice hockey fans from around the country – and its success has been revealed with news that the evening raised £20,000.
Proceeds came not just from ticket sales for the April event, but also from profits on sales of limited edition merchandise, the event programme and fund-raising events on the day. Following the event, every player’s jersey worn from the showcase Team North vs Team South fixture was auctioned, raising further income for the charity.
Held at MK Lightning’s home rink, the Planet Ice MK Arena, the fund-raising fixture began with an exhibition sledge hockey fixture – highlighting how participants with limited mobility can get involved in ice hockey – followed by a match-up featuring players from Milton Keynes’s junior organisation, MK Storm.
The evening Team North vs Team South match brought together hockey stars past and present, including Smith Recycling MK Lightning alumni Glenn Billing, James Griffin, Jonathan Boxill, Christian Isackson and Denny Kearney.
The event was well attended, with jerseys representing many British hockey teams being sported around the venue. A light-hearted and lively game was enjoyed by the crowd, with the atmosphere receiving an extra boost as news filtered through that the Team GB squad had secured promotion to division 1A.
Founded by former BBC Sports Personality of the Year (Unsung hero) Lance Haggith, the Sports Traider charity raises funds to give disadvantaged persons with the equipment and support they need to discover and fulfil their sporting ambition and potential, whatever their background, ability or disability.
Speaking on behalf of the MK Lightning, team owner Graham Moody commented,
“It’s wonderful news that so much money was raised for a very deserving cause. A lot of people from ice hockey were involved in helping with the planning and on the day itself, and I know every one of them will be proud to have played a small part in the raising of a phenomenal amount of money. But the biggest thanks must go to everyone who donated money. Sports Traider are already planning next year’s event and on behalf of everyone involved this year, we wish them every possible success!”
Find out more about the charity’s work on their website, www.sportstraider.org.uk.