Community - Sven Baertschi of the Vancouver Canucks recognizes volunteers at HEROS Hockey

January 28, 2019 | Thomas De Mello


Sven Baertschi of the Vancouver Canucks takes time out of his busy schedule to recognize some of the top and longstanding volunteers at HEROS Hockey in Vancouver.

Sven Baertschi of the Vancouver Canucks took time out of his busy schedule last week to recognize some of the top and longstanding volunteers at HEROS Hockey in Vancouver. In partnership with SportChek, Sven presented the two main volunteers at the Vancouver chapter of HEROS Hockey with several bags of gear and apparel from SportChek along with brand new mountain bikes! They deserve it. Mark Gage has been a volunteer with the program for over 6 years and Justin B (known to the kids as Mr. B) has been a volunteer for over 15 years. Every week they show up, strap on the blades, and provide the youth with strong leadership, hockey lessons and, of course, a fun and safe environment. 


Sven himself has been involved with the program for a long time as well. Joining HEROS as an Ambassador in 2014 while playing for the Flames, Sven has continued his support of the organization since his trade west to the Vancouver Canucks. He has a consistent presence at the program and the kids absolutely love having him around. 


Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) is a volunteer-driven charity that uses the game of ice hockey to teach life-skills and empower marginalized youth. HEROS was founded on the downtown Eastside in Vancouver and provides free programs to youth of all backgrounds from a grade four level, right up to post-secondary.  They provide opportunities for personal growth through sport training, educational development, and scholarships guiding participants to become constructive citizens and future community leaders. Since 2000, HEROS has helped almost 10,000 children and youth across Canada. Learn more here:


Growing up playing hockey my entire life, from my childhood in Nova Scotia to my teen and adult years in BC, I greatly appreciate the power of sports - The lessons you learn on the ice extend far beyond the sport itself. I also understand that, unfortunately, hockey is not a sport that is accessible to everyone. It's expensive, time consuming and often not a familiar place for immigrant and minority families. Having been involved with HEROS hockey for several years now myself, I try my absolute best to make it out every week and contribute as much as I can to this great program. I get to see first hand how it helps these young kids and I also see the tremendous impact Mark and Mr. B have on their lives - often unsung heroes, these volunteers make programs like this possible and the recognition from Sven and SportChek was an absolutely great way to acknowledge their enormous contributions.