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The Canadian Hockey League in association with Kia Canada are proud to announce a new partnership whereby Kia Canada becomes the Official Automotive Partner of the Canadian Hockey League, Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, as well as new presenting sponsor of the Memorial Cup.
The Memorial Cup has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America. The trophy was originally known as the OHA Memorial Cup and was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in March, 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in the First Wold War. In 2010 the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel. Last season marked the centennial celebration of the Memorial Cup where it was presented for the 100th time to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Regina. The 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia will feature the host Halifax Mooseheads along with the champions from the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL competing May 16-26.
Kia Canada will also have the opportunity to engage with CHL fans and communities across the country as an associate partner of the CIBC Canada Russia Series and the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Throughout the regular season they’ll help spotlight some of the league’s best teams with feature content and title sponsorship of the CHL’s popular weekly top-10 rankings, then join each regional league as a playoff partner during the stretch drive towards the Memorial Cup Presented by Kia. With commitment to community top of mind, Kia Canada will also present Humanitarian of the Year awards in all three leagues and to a national recipient at the annual CHL Awards Ceremony.
As the official automotive partner of Special Olympics Canada, Kia Canada is proud to be taking a hands-on role in helping to spread the message of acceptance and inclusion - as well as providing funds and transportation needs to support the daily and competitive sport programs that serve more than 42,000 children, youth and adults with an intellectual disability in communities all across Canada. Please visit SpecialOlympics.ca to learn more about this inspiring movement and how you can volunteer and/or donate to this very special cause.
Follow Kia’s fundraising effort for Special Olympics
Connecting our partnerships for a good cause
As their national automotive partner, Kia Canada is committed to taking a hands-on approach to raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics Canada. To accomplish this, while also celebrating our founding partnership with Toronto FC, we took our seats that had been in BMO field and had them embroidered and signed by the team. To win them, all fans have to do is visit SpecialOlympics.ca\wintfcseats and make a $10 donation. Please help support this great cause for a chance to win a piece of Toronto history.
Athlete of the Month
Michaela Robinson, South Surrey, BC
The Athlete of the Month for September is Michaela Robinson. Michaela is a decorated contender, an enthusiastic worker, and a generous volunteer. She has been involved in the Special Olympics in the last 18 years, from 5-pin bowling to rhythmic gymnastics to figure skating and swimming. She also generously gives her time to fundraising events and speaking engagements, lending her oratory skills to causes she believes in. We’re very excited to see where Michaela’s journey leads.
Logan Robbins, Charlottetown, PEI
Logan comes to us from Charlottetown, PEI, and is just 14 years old. The youngest member of the team, Logan earned his place on the PEI soccer team with a strong showing at a skills competition. Off the field, Logan helped pioneer the Youth Multi Sport program, an important step between youth programs and the adult Special Olympics. As a proud sponsor of @SpecialOCanada we are proud to support the athletes attending the Antigonish @SpecialO2018 games!
Joey Rempel, Olds, AB
Joining us from Olds, Alberta, Joey Rempel sees himself as a comedian first, and a 5-pin bowler second. He credits his dad for teaching him the value in humour. Not that he isn’t accomplished as a bowler, Joey has been competing at a high level for some time. Excited to add to the Gold and Bronze that he took in Medicine Hat, Joey will represent @specialolympicsalberta.
Brendon Vriesendorp, Dieppe, NB
A talented and dedicated speed skater from Dieppe, New Brunswick, Brendon Vriesendorp has proven his tenacity in training, competition, and life. He’s risen above numerous challenges – including a cancer diagnosis – to become the best he can be, and that’s why he’s @SpecialOCanada our Athlete of the Month.
Sam Waite, Sackville, NS
Join us in welcoming our Athlete of the Month, Sam Waite! Hailing from Sackville, Nova Scotia, Sam will be competing in the Antigonish games as a swimmer, despite having suffered an ACL injury. Not one to be kept down, she is hoping to add to her medal collection from 2014, which includes a Gold in Long Jump and Bronze in the 100m.
Kimana Mar, Ottawa, ON
Our Special Olympics Canada Athlete of the month is Kimana Mar. A dedicated athlete with Special Olympics experience, Kimana is passionate about sports. This Ottawa-based athlete is excited to represent Canada once again as a Rhythmic Gymnast, and looks forward to making new friends at the games.
Allie Price, Airdrie, AB
Josh Engel, Calgary, AB
We’re proud to present our first Athlete of the Month for March, Allie Price from Airdrie, Alberta. This versatile competitor has been involved in Special Olympics Canada for the past 9 years and is always working to improve her skills in soccer and golf. Our second Athlete of the Month is Josh Engel, a dedicated sportsman with many silver and gold medals in both golf and basketball. While he’s mainly focused on his golf swing now, he started off his athletic career in Calgary at the age of 8 with his local bowling club. Both Allie and Josh were medallists at the North America Special Olympics Golf Championships in Seattle last spring, taking silver and gold, respectively.
Jesse Canney, Durham Bridge, NB
Jesse Canney hails from Durham Bridge, New Brunswick and has been an avid swimmer since he was little! Jesse joined Special Olympics Canada when he was 11 and has since been a regular fixture in his local swim program practices and competitions. In 2012, at age 15, Jesse’s Special Olympics coach recommended Jesse take his swimming to the next level, enrolling in the Fredericton Aquanauts Swim Team (FAST). Which saw him swimming alongside ‘generic’ athletes from his area. Jesse has since increased his training, swimming once a week with Special Olympics and 7 times a week with FAST. Jesse’s greatest accomplishments so far in his young career have been attending various Special Olympics Provincial Games in New Brunswick, Special Olympics National Games in Vancouver, Can AM Para Championships and Trials in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and most recently, the 2017 Canada Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Charlie Mitchell, Saskatoon, SK
At just 9 years old, Charlie has been involved with Special Olympics Canada programs in his community since the age of 2. Charlie plays both soccer and basketball, but he loves basketball the best. He enjoys playing with his Special Olympics friends and teammates, running really fast and playing catch, something he was taught in Special Olympics when he was little. Charlie credits Special Olympics with bringing a lot of fun and joy into his life!
Félix Berthiaume, Montreal, QC
Meet our Athlete of the Month, Félix Berthiaume. Félix has been Special Olympics Canada soccer since he was 8. His love for the game has never slowed down despite some serious surgeries. His motto is “never stop, just play.”
Félix was selected as the first Impact de Montréal Special Olympics Representative for the Unified All-Star Game held in Chicago. He played in the Unified Game and attended the MLS All Stars/Real Madrid Game. He and his team, Les Rafales de la Mauricie, won two gold medals in the Québec Provincial Soccer Championships, as well as a silver medal in the team’s first Special Olympics Provincial Games. They were also awarded Jury's Favourite Crush at the Sports Hommage Gala and given a memorable standing ovation from over 300 in the local sports community.
Margaret Burnell, Penticton, BC
Margaret Burnell is a native of British Columbia. She was a key member of the Team Canada Bocce Squad at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. At a spry 68-years-old, Margaret credits Special Olympics with playing an incredibly positive role in her life. Over the years, she has learned healthier eating habits and has made new friends from all over the world, increasing her self-confidence and self-esteem. Margaret’s proudest accomplishments to date have been the medals she’s won and representing her country on the world stage.
Ryan Kneisz, Winnipeg, MB
Ryan Kneisz from Winnipeg, Manitoba has been involved with Special Olympics for 18 years. In addition to track and field, Ryan participates in floor hockey with Special Olympics. Ryan has represented Canada on the world stage at two World Games, most recently in Los Angeles at the 2016 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Ryan is grateful to Special Olympics for giving him a sense of belonging, allowing him to meet and make new friends and to participate in a variety of different sports. He says one of the biggest challenges he has had to overcome is his sense of focus.
Callum Denault, Toronto, ON
At the age of 8, Callum Denault first got involved in Special Olympics with the Toronto Seals Swim Team. Callum is now 18 years old and is thrilled to be a member of the Special Olympics Ontario Unified soccer team.
His goal is to attend Ryerson University for Journalism. Callum has his own blog, www.autismthinking.wordpress.com. He describes it as “a contemplative discussion of my life as an Autistic.”
Keegan Waite, Summerside, PE
At just 14 years old, Keegan Waite is the youngest member to ever join Team PEI. Waite is small but mighty. He is often referred to as a brick wall, consistently making impressive saves for the floor hockey team. Keegan couldn’t wait to start competing at the Special Olympics 2016 Winter Games. The floor hockey team had an outstanding week at the Games in Newfoundland. They won the gold medal in their division through determination and teamwork. “My experience with Special Olympics has been really cool,” says Keegan. “Being able to play against friendly competition, even at a national level, had been amazing.”
Connor Bissett, Whitecourt, AB
Say hello to Conner Bissett, July's athlete-of-the month. 16-year old Conner became involved with the Special Olympics 4 years ago and has had an incredible swimming career. In 2015, he won gold medals for the 50m breast stroke and freestyle in 2015 Defi Sportif Altergo in Montreal, Quebec. He is an avid Calgary Flames fan and loves to build models out of lego. Connor’s life motto, “always work hard,” reminds us that you can achieve anything with a little hard work.
Alma Loken, Toronto, ON
Meet our June athlete-of-the-month, 4-year-old Alma Loken. Alma started with Special Olympics Canada in her local Active Start program in the fall of 2015 when she was just learning to walk independently. Since then she’s started running, skipping, jumping and kicking a ball. Best yet, she’s made friends with so many other athletes and won the hearts of every volunteer. Alma inspires us all with her determination and her goal to one day represent Canada at a Special Olympics World Games.
Alexander Pang, Vancouver, BC
As part of our partnership with Special Olympics Canada, Kia Canada is proud to introduce our new feature – the Kia Athlete of the Month! As the first selection in this new initiative, Alexander Pang of Vancouver, B.C. is a perfect example of why we are so excited to partner with this organization. When asked, Alexander said that Special Olympics changed his life by allowing him to find a community of support for him and his fellow athletes. Also, as an athlete who participated in the 2017 Special Olympics World Games in Austria, his goal was “to be supportive and helpful for my team and other competitors.” Congratulations to Alexander!
We have the privilege to say we are the Founding Partner and Official Automotive Sponsor of the Canadian Major League Soccer team – Toronto FC. Fans can see our presence both in and out of each city’s stadium where we often have booths set up with games, free giveaways and much more. With the support of these incredible teams, we’ve also been able to contribute to local community outreach programs.
He is one of Canada’s elite golfers and a fixture on the PGA Tour. David Hearn is also a proud ambassador of the game – and proudly represents Kia Canada both on and off the course. David isn’t just a dedicated golfer; he’s also a devoted family man who was looking for a world-class vehicle to transport his family in style, comfort and safety. “I am thrilled to continue my partnership with Kia, representing the company in Canada and in the golf space,” said Hearn. “Kia is a car [brand] that I trust personally, with the style and quality I need for both myself and my family. As much as I love golf, my family is what matters most. It is important for me to partner with a quality company like Kia”.
On February 28, 2017, Kia Canada Inc. (KCI) announced a multi-year extension of their long-term partnership with Canadian PGA TOUR golfer David Hearn, as well as the expansion of KCI’s involvement in the Canadian golf landscape with two junior golf initiatives starting in 2017.
KCI and Hearn will collaborate on the David Hearn Junior Series presented by Kia, and The David Hearn Foundation Kia Grant. These platforms will see KCI leverage the relationship with Hearn towards the development of junior golf across Canada and raising awareness and funds for the Alzheimer Society through The David Hearn Foundation.