Encouraged by previous years’ success, Telenor and the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation are organizing a teddy bear toss again this year. The event will take place at the match between Hungary and Spain during the Division I Ice Hockey World Championship at Papp László Budapest Sports Arena on 22 April, Telenor writes in a press release.
On the fourth day of the Ice Hockey World Championship, not only Hungarian players but also teddy bears will be in the focus of attention. Ice hockey fans will be invited to toss teddy bears on the ice after the Hungarian team scores its first goal.
“The first Hungarian teddy bear toss was organized by the team Miskolci Jegesmedvék three years ago. The initiative was very successful with players and fans collecting a huge number of soft toys for needy children. Since 2009, we and Telenor have been organizing the charity programme every year. I hope that the Hungarian team will win the world championship match against Spain and we’ll collect a huge pile of toys for children”, said Csaba Kovács, Vice President of the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation.
The initiative called teddy bear toss comes from North America. As the story goes, the ice was covered with teddy bears in Kitchener, Canada in the mid-eighties for the first time to appeal to children in the Christmas season. Later, the initiative grew popular in other parts of Canada and the United States. Now bears are tossed at nearly every minor and junior hockey league across the world. Teams with a large number of fans collect as many as 10,000 to 15,000 teddy bears per game. The world record is held by the fans of Calgary Hitmen who tossed as many as 26,919 teddy bears on the ice on 2 December 2007.
“This year’s teddy bear toss has been scheduled for an exciting match of the Division I Ice Hockey World Championship, a prestigious event also in international terms. It will be a touching moment to see the ice covered with thousands of teddy bears at the fully packed Sports Arena. The charity action of Hungarian ice hockey fans will be taken to millions of people through the television broadcast”, said Orsolya Nyilas, Telenor’s Acting Head of PR.
Fans donate an increasing number of soft toys to sick and needy the children in the teddy bear toss every year. At the first charity event in 2009, the audience tossed 4,352 toys on the ice, while this number increased to 4,451 last year. The teddy bears collected at the World Championship will be delivered to several institutions including Bethesda Children’s Hospital, Esze Tamás Children’s Home, and the Children’s Home of the Municipality of Budapest in Templom utca.
This year again, the soft toys will be presented to children by the members of the Hungarian national ice hockey team.