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Grassroots Original Hockey League

The Grassroots Original Hockey League (GOHL) is a dynamic program designed to engage and include underserved and non-traditional communities in the world of hockey.

About GOHL

The Grassroots Original Hockey League (GOHL) is not just about playing the game. It’s about community integration, empowerment, and using sport as a tool to broaden horizons and create new possibilities for youth in underserved areas.

GOHL provides free equipment, ice time, and coaching in comprehensive programs for youth aged of 6-12 as well as vital employment and volunteer opportunities for youth aged 15-24.

The ultimate goal of GOHL extends far beyond cultivating hockey players. GOHL offers free field trips to museums, theatres, art and cultural exhibits, and sporting events. Our programs also incorporate mentorship through guest speakers and seminars.

Programs

Meet Our Coaching Staff

At the Hockey Diversity Alliance, we take pride in our coaching staff’s extensive experience and their unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion. They are dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all players.

Aaron Attwell

Lead Instructor

Aaron is the youngest of three children and the only Canadian born in his family. He grew up in the Eglinton and Keele area and started playing hockey in the Bert Robinson Minor Hockey League at age 4. Growing up playing hockey was difficult—Aaron played with used gear to offset the high cost of the game and found himself ostracized by his teams for being different.

Aaron went on to play for the Warren Park Eagles, Toronto Young Nationals, and the Toronto Marlboros before playing Junior A and then on York University’s team. After that, he played minor professional leagues across America and Sweden for 9 years.

“I wanted to coach to be able to give back what I attained while playing hockey for almost 30 years. To help those who are like me and those I grew up with, to help families find their place and grow and have opportunities to develop not just hockey skills, but life skills. I enjoy watching the kids find themselves and grow in and out of the game of hockey.”

Naomi Kobo

Instructor

Naomi enjoys coaching because it lets her bond with players, share her love for hockey, and instil many important values in our young and upcoming athletes.

“It is a joy to see young players find themselves in a place where they can be competitive, supported, and expressive.”

IsmaIl Khota

Instructor

Ismail would’ve loved to have a program like HDA’s GOHL program growing up.

“Seeing these kids getting this opportunity and being able to be a part of their learning experience has been very wholesome and has given me a sense of fulfillment.”

Tre Folkes

Instructor

Tré has been playing hockey as long as he can remember. He chose to connect with the HDA to positively reinforce that kids they can do whatever they set their minds to.

“Hockey can be uncomfortable and hard, but if you can grasp the sport, you can excel in anything your heart desires.”

Muhammad Jogiat

Instructor

Coaching hockey is a passion Muhammad has built in the last decade—he finds coaching drives him to be a better person while helping others. Coaching and playing hockey plays a major role in his life, as it helps strengthen his relationship with myself and the team through discipline, commitment, and responsibility.

“It has been a very rewarding experience so far coaching for GOHL, looking forward to the challenge that’s ahead!”

McIntyre Reamey

Instructor

McIntyre enjoys coaching with the GOHL because every day he’s able to see a change in a sport that he loves. He’s thankful for the opportunity to help the future of hockey, and to change the environment, stigma, and culture around this sport for the better.

“The change can be seen on the faces of all of these wonderful kids, week after week, as they become more determined and hardworking with every session.”

Leeson McDougal

Instructor

Coaching kids’ hockey allows Leeson to be the mentor he never had, offering the guidance and encouragement he wished for in his own journey. It’s a heartfelt opportunity to foster his growth on and off the ice, creating a positive impact that goes beyond the game.

“Hockey is a passionate journey driven by my profound love for the game. Witnessing their smiles, creating lasting memories, and guiding them through lessons of teamwork and hard work bring me profound joy, rooted in a genuine enthusiasm for the sport and its transformative impact on young lives.”

Hillary McGregor

Instructor

“Coaching with the GOHL is an exciting opportunity for me to contribute to the diversity of hockey while supporting kids in realizing their potential and passion for the game.”

Darwin Murray

Instructor

Darwin believes it’s every Canadian’s right of heritage to have the opportunity to learn and play hockey. The HDA program provides this opportunity for families by breaking down financial barriers, access to ice, equipment and coaches so that we can grow our hockey community here in Canada.

“It is truly an honour to be a leader for the Hockey Diversity Alliance.”

Kayla Tillekeratne

Instructor

Kayla enjoys coaching because it means she can see the excitement in the kids’ eyes when they come to the rink, and see the connections coaches making with their students.

“I love that I’m able to show the love I have for the game of hockey to the next generation of hockey players.”

Bryson Tillekeratne

Instructor

Bryson enjoys coaching because he loves to see the impact he has on developing hockey players and how coaching has created an opportunity to guide young players in the right direction.

“I hope to send them on paths of success within the sport of hockey.”

Ryan Evans

Instructor

“I love coaching at the HDA because it allows me to teach kids new skills, collaborate with fellow coaches, and promote essential life skills through hockey. It’s a fulfilling experience, and I enjoy making a positive impact on young athletes.”

Jed Boyce

Instructor

“I enjoy coaching because it allows me to help better others on the ice and in life.”

Maria Murray

Program and Partnership Coordinator

As a mother to biracial daughters, one of whom shares her father’s passion for hockey, fostering a safe environment for them and other BIPOC children, both on and off the ice, is paramount to me.

Seeing the diverse group of kids on the ice thanks to HDA’s efforts fills me with hope and strengthens my dedication to their impactful work.

Cammi Chin

Partnership and Communications Coordinator

Growing up in Canada there weren’t many people who looked like me in western media or in sports. I choose to work for the HDA because representation matters. I want to help instil the belief that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, if you have a dream you can achieve it.

Players in Action

Check out our Grassroots Original Hockey League players and their coaches crushing it on the rink.

Community Partners

Program Partners
Program Supporters

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Silent Protest: Hockey player taking a knee during the national anthem, demonstrating a peaceful stance for social justice and equality.
HDA
Young fans eagerly stepping onto the ice before an NHL game, filled with excitement and anticipation for the thrilling hockey experience ahead.
Change the
Respectful Protest: Hockey players taking a knee during the national anthem, symbolizing a peaceful protest and a call for social justice.
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