Tracking the News- February 14, 2014

My analysis will be on the topic of “Is the Good Old Hockey Game only for the rich?” It was discussed on the CBC Radio show, The Current, on December 3, 2013.

When I first listened to this discussion, it made me a little upset that Canada’s national pastime was slowly becoming something that most people in Canada can’t afford. Hockey is easily the most expensive sport for parents to put their kids in. Even one hockey stick costs more than a whole set of gear for a kid wanting to playing soccer. Although their are many great programs such as Canadian Tire’s JumpStart program, that help parents out with the costs, sometimes that just isn’t enough. One of the members of the panel that discussed the topic was Karl Subban, the father to P.K, and NHL star for the Montreal Canadiens, along with his two other sons, Jordan and Malcolm, both young prospects drafted to the NHL. Subban wasn’t exactly a wealthy man while putting his three boys through hockey as they grew up in the town of Rexdale, Ontario, he faced obstacles along the way. This experience led to him lending a hand to oldest son, PK, as they partnered with Hyundai Hockey Helpers, a program that helps at least 1000 kids across Canada get started in hockey. As great as these programs are, it is very unfortunate that it seems only the rich can play hockey. Hockey is a sport that I would say most Canadians enjoy. It is a sport that unites us all as our country battles it out at the Olympics or when our favourite teams are playing on Saturday nights. I think that all of the hierarchy of the sport need to reconsider the amount of money that some parents have to put in to have their kids play a sport they love. Until this happens, hockey will slowly lose its flare and won’t be recognized as our game. 

Add a story pitch for a possible follow up on this story.

  1. A story that I would tell as a follow up would be about the costs of hockey and the struggle that parents go through. I would use comparisons of costs between hockey and other sports. I would also look at how some of the best young players that the game produces, all come from rich families which gives them the resources to become great players.
  2. My story would be significant because I would be able to truly break down the costs of hockey compared to another sport like baseball or soccer. People that would care would be the parents that have to go through the financial struggle to support a child wanting to play hockey.
  3. I think something that would be surprising for the reader to know would be looking at the financial class some of the best hockey players in the world come from compared to 20 years ago. I have heard stories of top players like Connor McDavid who comes from such a rich family that they can afford every single resource that he needs or needed to get him where he is today. I don’t think that was a factor 20 years ago mostly because the attitude around the sport has changed along with the costs.  
  4. Three subtopics I would use for this story would be the cost comparison to other sports, a look back at the past of hockey and the costs then, the struggle some parents go through to pay for hockey, and lastly, some of the programs that help parents pay for the costs.
  5. Sources I would use would be reports on the sport’s cost, interviewing hockey parents, and interviewing a representative from Hockey Canada.
  6. I would tell the story through television because I would be able to get some good visuals but I also feel like I could tell this story through radio. I feel like if I was interviewing a parent who struggles to pay for the sport, hearing that voice would be easier to relate to instead of reading the quotes. However, I could use print to present different statistics like the cost comparison of sports across Canada.

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