Hopefully by now you've seen our new video: How Hockey Helps.
This video was the culmination of many laborious hours (aka weeks) combing through months (aka years) of footage since my initial trip to the Himalayas in 2009. My incredible team at The Hockey Foundation wanted to make sure we did things right before we were finally ready to share what we consider a very special video.
"How Hockey Helps" is the product of 7+ years supporting ice hockey in India, as well as my experiences a decade ago coaching in China on behalf of the New York Islanders' Project Hope, combined with many years of coaching youth hockey players in the New York City area.
Over the years, more and more coaches have joined in on this incredible journey to change lives via hockey, and we've all seen first-hand that hockey does indeed help. We always took photos and videos of our trips, but for a couple of years now, I felt like something was missing.
So we made a video about How Hockey Helps.
I've been anxiously waiting to share this video with you since before we began editing earlier this year. I've watched this video nearly 100 times as our team put it together, and on each viewing I reminisced fondly over all of the experiences I've had, the people I've met, the friendships I've made...all because of hockey. I know the other THF coaches feel the same way!
Hockey may be a fun game, but it's not all fun and games all the time.
It takes a tremendous amount of time, energy and money to achieve what we've achieved so far, such as:
- donating hundreds of books to schools in Ladakh with our educational partner ILSC
- donating thousands of pieces of equipment to hockey programs around India
- encouraging and supporting girls hockey in India to the point that India fielded their first womens' national team in 2016
- organizing an historic game in Brampton, Ontario for the mens' national team to realize how much more they can accomplish with hard work
- watching many of these players become coaches, referees and leaders in their communities
- advising on new rink construction and equipment importation/distribution to support access to the game
I think about guys in India like Abdul Hakim (my assistant coach for Team India for a number of years), Chamba Tsetan, Tsewang Gyaltson, Rajat Malhotra, Zia Mir and Amit Belwal that have had their lives irrevocably changed by ice hockey, and young women like Deachen Dolkar, Stanzin Dolker, Tsewang Chuskit, Kunzes Angmo, Rinchen Dolma and Noor Jahan that love the game so much they founded the Ladakh Womens' Ice Hockey Foundation to ensure girls in Ladakh have an equal opportunity to excel at the game, an initiative we're proud to support!
The reality is, that in order to keep on changing lives via hockey, we need your help. We want to keep our momentum growing. Your support is critical to our continued success.
There are in-need communities in every corner of the globe, and we are perfectly positioned to support them, whether it be in the US, Canada, Ireland, India, China, Korea, Kenya, Morocco, Chile or Argentina (to name just a few). We can even help some penguins in Antarctica, if given the chance!
Whether it be to transport equipment, ensure our coaches are well trained, buy books to donate to schools, or simply keep our website operational, ensuring the financial security of The Hockey Foundation is of the utmost importance, not only to me, but to everyone that has donated equipment, volunteered their time, and most importantly, to the people we coach and support!
To this end, we've set up a new fundraiser via ActionSprout to help us start this hockey season strong, and as we do, we'll be sure to share our progress with you! You can access it on our HowHockeyHelps page (where you can also see a SlideShare presentation I made in New Brunswick earlier this summer on How Hockey Helps), as well as on our Facebook page.
Please consider supporting and help us change lives and share happiness, one puck at a time!
Adam Sherlip, Executive Director, Founder & Head Coach