The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) announced today that it has invested $1,246,000 in scholarships during the 2019–2020 school year. These financial commitments will benefit 220 former QMJHL players to support them in pursuing their studies at college, university, or vocational training level. This amount is in addition to the amount disbursed by teams to cover the tuition fees for players currently playing in the QMJHL. Scholarship amounts have risen dramatically in recent years due to the requirement for all players to be enrolled in a program of study and their excellent success rates.
Table of QMJHL Investments in Previous Years
“The school component is one of the priorities of the QMJHL. Players recognize that being part of the League and one of its teams is conditional on the continuation of a program of studies,” commented QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau. “The QMJHL and its clubs invest a significant amount of money in the education of their players during their junior years and, as the above-mentioned significant amounts demonstrate, alumni also benefit from a generous scholarship program that can now reach $6,000 per year over a 5 year period.”
QMJHL scholarships provide financial support to players during their academic progress following their years in the QMJHL.
This financial assistance as well as the support of the QMJHL and its clubs are greatly appreciated by parents and players alike. “We don’t talk enough about the importance the QMJHL gives to the education of its players. Whether it was during my CEGEP years or my years at university that I am currently attending, the QMJHL has constantly supported me with its scholarship program,” shared Louis-Philip Guindon, former goaltender for the Drummondville Voltigeurs and the Rimouski Océanic. He is also enrolled at McGill University in the Kinesiology program and goaltending for the university team. “In addition to the financial support, I have had immense help from the Drummondville and Rimouski teams to organize my academic path so that I could properly complete the Natural Sciences program. Without the QMJHL, the Voltigeurs and the Océanic organizations, I don’t think the academic opportunities would have been the same.”
The QMJHL is a school of life that leads to great opportunities as Judes Vallée, former coach of the Sherbrooke Phoenix and current head coach of the Université de Moncton’s Aigles Bleus, confirms. “In my career as a coach, my experiences have given me first-hand insight into the importance of personal development, a life-career plan and the importance of post-secondary education. How fortunate these young players are to be able to count on financial assistance that encourages them to pursue their training in their field of interest, to improve their chances of success in a trade or profession of their choice. My years at university level made me appreciate how much this financial support facilitates the transition of QMJHL players to university hockey, a level that allows players to continue their development as hockey players by participating in a high-calibre league, while pursuing a degree in a field of their choice. I congratulate the QMJHL and its teams for their commitment to their scholarship program, considering that this initial investment will produce an invaluable return in their athletes’ life and career paths.”
Disrupted End of School Year and Success Rate
Like all Canadian students, the end of the school year for QMJHL players was disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. Back at their family residence, many had to adapt to e-learning to continue their studies at high school, CEGEP or university. It took a lot of organization, motivation, and perseverance to continue to put the necessary effort into their studies while also having to grieve the 2019–2020 hockey season.
“We would like to congratulate them for the discipline and perseverance they showed to finish their school year,” said Natacha Llorens, Director of Player Services. “It is also important to highlight the extraordinary work of the team’s academic advisors and the teachers who supported and accompanied them in their studies. These efforts will allow these student athletes to continue their studies, while some will even move on to a higher level. It is also important to note their excellent success rates which are higher than those of regular students who do not have the same constraints as QMJHL players.”
With those last words, we wish them a great summer and we look forward to seeing them in great shape next season.
Donate to the QMJHL Foundation
For anyone interested in making a donation to the QMJHL Foundation to help student players in the pursuit of their studies, you can do so via the following website: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/fondation-lhjmq-qmjhl-foundation/. A tax receipt will be sent to you for an amount of $20 or more.