This image is from January 2007, when Angela Ruggiero and I were in Heilongjiang Province, China through the New York Islanders initiative Charles B. Wang Ice Hockey Project Hope (nyiprojecthope.com). Just 2 weeks prior, Angela and I hosted these kids in New York for an international youth hockey tournament, and when we returned to Qiqihar, this was our reception.
This picture says it all.
This is the impact I want to make around the world with hockey. This picture is a constant reminder for me of WHY this is what I am meant to do.
If you look in the background, the rink is barebone. The ice was terrible, there was no netting in the goals, and there was no glass around the paper-thin boards (which had a gaping hole filled in with snow at one spot) - but we had an incredible time with the kids!
When I got to see some of these kids again the following year for the Lighthouse Tournament, they had improved leaps and bounds. I specifcially asked if they remembered our visit the previous year and the drills we showed them. The kids told me they practiced those drills every day! These kids have all the potential in the world to become the best hockey players in China from one 45-minute session. Imagine that!
Please help me provide a lasting impact on children in Ladakh.