Photo © Julien Cadena
By Raye Mocioiu
It’s comeback season for P.K. Subban.
The star athlete is known for his commitment to giving back, and even after two years of adapting to pandemic life, he shows no signs of slowing down.
The Subban Defence League (SDL), Subban’s specialized hockey camp designed to develop young players into difference makers and leaders, will be returning to in-person learning with this year’s “The Comeback Season,” the biggest camp experience yet. Happening in Toronto from July 25-28 and in Montréal from August 2 and 3, campers ages 6-15 will learn to play “the P.K. way.”
The SDL gives young players the advantage of top-quality coaching and programming, equipping them with the tools necessary to Change the Game and turn heads in every arena they enter. Subban and his elite team of coaches will work with campers on the skills that create a champion athlete. On and off the ice, students will leave camp with lessons that will carry through to every facet of life. Each day will feature dryland training and the on-ice skills and drills that Subban still uses to this day.
All proceeds from the Subban Defence League are directly donated to the Montréal Children’s Hospital, a long-time partner and recipient of the P.K.’s Helping Hand program. Last August, the former Montréal Canadien visited The Children’s Hospital to lend a helping hand to the “Tannants au volant car rally,” which raised $300,000 in one day for the hospital.
Program donations are used to provide financial support to over 600 families a year, equip the Neonatal Care Unit family lounges with healthy food options so parents can stay close to their babies while taking care of themselves, donate free books (in 28 different languages) for disadvantaged families with sick children ages 0-5, and so much more.
Most recently, the Montréal Children’s Hospital announced the opening of the Specialized Centre for Adolescent Mental Health (Le SPOT Montréal), one of the largest ambulatory centres in Canada for teens in suicidal crisis. Located within walking distance of The Montréal Children’s Hospital, Le SPOT offers an alternative to hospitalization, allowing teenagers to continue with school and other regular activities.
“The outpouring of donor support for this project has been incredible. In a mere six months, the Montréal Children’s Hospital Foundation raised $12 million for Le SPOT Montréal,” explains Renée Vézina, president of the Montréal Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This exceptional support ensures teens in suicidal crisis will get help quickly from the hospital’s specialized team. Our donors are saving young lives.”
On March 18, Subban announced that the P.K. Subban Foundation donated $1 million to the creation of the new teen mental health clinic, with Subban taking to Twitter to share: “The adolescents of today are the adults of the future, and we want to ensure we can support them in every way possible!”
Le SPOT Montréal is one of the major projects funded by The Montréal Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Unexpected Ways to Heal campaign, which aims to raise $200 million for the hospital by 2026. It is the most ambitious fundraising objective for a pediatric hospital in Québec’s history.
With ambition in mind, Subban also acted as a spokesperson for the Montréal Children’s Hospital’s campaign to aid Ukrainian cancer patients who had crucial treatment interrupted by war. In support of these young patients forced from their homes into terrifying situations, Subban promised to match every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000—a goal reached and surpassed within a week.
Subban’s influence on the hospital is unparalleled, with projects funded by P.K.’s Helping Hand Fund reaching over 9,000 families each year. The P.K. Subban Foundation continues to make strides in changing the lives of youth, one child at a time.