The Hockey Jersey

A new hockey story to inspire the next generation. 

I wish I had a book like this – with a little girl on the cover when I was growing up
– Natalie Spooner, PWHPA hockey player 

The Hockey Jersey is a necessary story to remind all readers that there is a place for them, as they are, in the sport they love
– Stephanie Lamb, Former Teacher

A beautiful story that reflects the childhood dream we all share.
– David Amber, Sports broadcaster

How we’re working to change the game

Scotiabank is on a mission to make hockey more diverse, more inclusive and more accessible for all. Today we’re starting with the next generation. Most children’s hockey books don’t feature players of colour. That’s why we created The Hockey Jersey: A new hockey story to inspire the next generation. Because if young players don’t see themselves in the game today, how can they imagine themselves in its future?

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Story Synopsis

It’s the day of the first hockey game and Kareema is about to take a big step into the locker room and into the world of hockey.

Overwhelmed and unsure of what’s ahead, Kareema enters the changeroom and meets her new teammates — a group of young players who are also wondering if they will fit in with the team and find their place in the game.
When their coach arrives with a bag full of brand new uniforms and hands each player their jersey, Kareema and her teammates will discover something special while they get dressed for the game.

As they take to the ice in their new uniforms, ready to play for the first time, Kareema will realize something unique about the game of hockey as her biggest fans cheer on. 

Meet the author

Jael Richardson is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life which was adapted into a children’s book in 2016. Her debut novel, Gutter Child, was an instant bestseller and a finalist for the 2021 Amazon First Novel Award. Her most recent children’s book, Because You Are, was released August 2022. Richardson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and lives in Brampton, Ontario where she founded and serves as the Executive Director for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD). Jael created The Hockey Jersey in collaboration with Toronto-based hockey player Eva Perron.

Meet the illustrator

Chelsea Charles is an illustrator who resides in Brampton, Ontario, and has received her BAA in Illustration at Sheridan College. She creates her illustrations through a combination of digital and traditional mediums. It's been her dream job to illustrate children’s books. She’s built a career from illustrating everything from sports stars and actors, to political concepts. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, being a nuisance to her cat Charcoal and dog Stokley, and daydreams about travelling to Japan.

hockey for all 

We believe Canada’s game should be for all Canadians. That’s why Scotiabank is on a mission to make hockey more diverse, more inclusive and more accessible for all. Through our sponsorships, partnerships and programs, Scotiabank is committed to realizing a better future for hockey. See how we’re working to change the game.

The Hockey Jersey Braille Version

We made The Hockey Jersey so that every child feels they belong in the game of hockey. Every child can feel recognized within the book, and the game is made inclusive and accessible to all. That’s why we’ve partnered with the National Network of Equitable Library Service to create a braille version of the book for people experiencing vision impairment. This book can be found in specified libraries across the country, and we have also uploaded the BRF and DXB version to our website so that anyone can create their own braille version of the book. 

"This is more than just a game, as all of the people in red, black, and white smile and cheer loudly, as the players huddle closer."

Download BRF and DXB braille versions of The Hockey Jersey below.

Hockey 4 Youth

This book doesn’t just help kids imagine themselves in the game, it helps them get on the ice. All proceeds from The Hockey Jersey will be donated to Hockey 4 Youth Foundation, an organization that fosters social inclusion for newcomer and high-priority youth through free ice hockey and its off-ice life skills program.

Educator Copies

Bring the book to your school. We’re happy to offer complimentary copies of The Hockey Jersey to teachers, educators, and librarians across Canada to use in their classrooms and help inspire the next generation of hockey.

Media Centre

In the News

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CTV News

Anchor Angie Seth and author Jael Richardson talk about finding a sense of belonging through literature

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CityNews Toronto

Journalist Dee Burman gets the full scoop on all things The Hockey Jersey

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Host Tracy Moore welcomes Jael Richardson to the studio with special guest, Tracy's daughter and special contributor to The Hockey Jersey, Eva Perron.

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Breakfast Televison

“The Hockey Jersey” allows everyone to see themselves in their favourite game

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CTV Morning Live Calgary

Anchor Joelle Tomlinson talks to author Jael Richardson about The Hockey Jersey, and speaks to her own experiences growing up as a young hockey player of colour in Saskatchewan

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The Globe and Mail

From intention to process, Rita Trichur pens an op-ed in The Globe and Mail detailing the importance and significance of The Hockey Jersey