The Western Hockey League announced today Riley Fiddler-Schultz, forward of the Calgary Hitmen, as the recipient of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy (WHL Humanitarian of the Year) Presented by Kia.
“The Kia WHL Humanitarian of the Year Award is a recognition to players who have devoted their time to the communities they represent,” said Michael Kopke, Director of Marketing for Kia Canada.
“We would like to congratulate Riley Fiddler-Schultz for winning the Kia WHL Humanitarian of the Year Award. Kia Canada is committed to Powering the Future of Hockey and is honoured to acknowledge and reward players like Riley who display their commitment to community.”
Fiddler-Schultz, a 17-year-old product of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., has quickly engrained himself in Calgary’s community.
In his second season with the Hitmen, Fiddler-Schultz created his own community program coined Fidds Friends. This program brought kids registered with the Boys & Girls Club of Calgary to Hitmen games throughout the season.
Attendees received tickets to a game, as well as parking and concession vouchers. Following each game, Fiddler-Schultz met with the kids as well as their guests for post-game photos and autographs. The program reached 60 participants throughout the regular season.
Riley’s contributions to the Boys & Girls Club of Calgary included playing ball hockey with the organization and helping to provide a positive role model for kids within the organization to look up to. One of these interactions included a participant in the Fidds Friends program who had aggressive tendencies. Since meeting Fiddler-Schultz, the participant’s behaviour has improved dramatically.
Initiating another event to give back to his community, Fiddler-Schultz collected donations for the Veterans Food Bank, filling the back of his father’s pick-up truck outside a local grocery store. Upon delivery of the items, he spent additional time with the organization to learn about their mission and how they operate.
Fiddler-Schultz also took the lead for the Hitmen in other community outreach programs. He volunteered with HEROSHockey, a program that uses the game of hockey to teach life skills and empower at-risk youth. He also participated in the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Talk Today Campaign to raise awareness regarding mental health.
The Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy for WHL Humanitarian of the Year is presented annually to the WHL player who helps to enhance the community they play in. The trophy is named in memory of former Regina Pats captain Doug Wickenheiser.
Playing three seasons with his hometown Pats, Wickenheiser recorded 352 points (158G-194A) in 207 WHL regular season games. While noted for his skills on the ice, Wickenheiser was often recognized for his caring and generous nature away from the rink. The Doug Wickenheiser Arena in Regina carries on Doug’s spirit of giving to this day.
As the recipient of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy Presented by Kia, Fiddler-Schultz is now one of three nominees for the Canadian Hockey League’s Kia Humanitarian of the Year Award.