EDMONTON -- Edmonton’s MacEwan University has been awarded a $65,000 federal grant meant to fund a new project aimed at making community hockey programs more inclusive.

The university will use the money to develop resources to address systemic racism and barriers to access the sport of hockey, in a project tagged For the Growth of the Game.

The grant money comes as part of the federal government’s implementation of its new $15 million Anti-Racism Action Plan.

“Through Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, introduced in 2019, we are funding projects to combat racism in all of its forms,” Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, said in a news release.

The federal money will go toward 85 anti-racism projects across the country.

“These projects will help address the systemic barriers that are preventing Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities, and religious minorities from participating fully and equitably in all aspects of society,” said Chagger.

Irfan Chaudhry, MacEwan University’s Director for the Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity, has been tasked with developing the Edmonton-based project.

For the Growth of the Game will focus on helping local organizations ensure hockey is more inclusive and available for everyone.

“Sport is a community building experience,” Chaudhry said in a news release. “We need to work to ensure the opportunity to participate should be open to everyone.”

Chaudhry will work alongside MacEwan Athletics and community partners to develop resources for hockey groups to address racism and participation barriers.

In a news release, Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor of MacEwan University expressed her pleasure with the opportunity to help with the sport’s inclusivity.

"Diversity and inclusion enriches our communities, on and off campus. MacEwan is happy to share its expertise to ensure hockey is open to all," said Trimbee.