Hockey Foundation

Returning to Ladakh

Two years ago, a dream became reality.  There are so many variables that contributed to it, but at the end of the day, I would never have heard of Ladakh if not for my friend and former colleague Angela Ruggiero.  Once her random email about Ladakh came through, my life instantly changed, and on the shoulders of warm-hearted Americans & Canadians (in alphabetical order), I was able to begin a project that would redefine how I viewew my place on this planet.

Ladakh is a remote region in the Himalayas in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.  Ladakhis are most similar to Tibetans, in the same way that Anglophile Canadians are most similar to Americans.  They have their own social identity, their own variations on the language, but to an untrained eye, they are interchangeable.  Ladakh is a predominantly Buddhist region, in a predominantly Muslim state, in a predominantly Hindu country, sandwiched between two disputed borders, with China (Tibet) & Pakistan (Kashmir). It’s a region that has been conquered and attacked many times over the past millennia. Needless to say that Ladakh is a unique region.  It leaves an impression on everyone that goes there, in an almost mystical way.  It’s like Ladakh is in a time capsule from a thousand years ago, even with many of the things we have in our modern lives.

Through my experiences teaching ice hockey in Heilongjiang Province in Northern China & in Ladakh, I got to see how effective sports (namely hockey) can be in improving the quality of life for people who deal with more hardships than we do.  I spent a month teaching hockey in Ladakh, playing with children, and providing them with tools to further their potential in a region and country that seem to limit so many.  

The trip to Ladakh was motivated by the desire to impart values that we have come to identify as human beings as being crucial to our success: honesty, accountability, team-work & toughness (mental & physical).

As a result of the work that was started, I was honored to become the national coach of India’s first ice hockey team, and got to represent India in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) Annual Conference.  What started as a humble volunteer trip quickly ballooned into something bigger, and the platform to use hockey as a means to make a difference in Ladakhi’s lives spurred The Hockey Foundation.

A few weeks ago, we debuted a new logo (graphic design by Kevin Sterling) that communicates so much of what The Hockey Foundation is about: using the ideals of hockey to foster cultural understanding and to communicate and instill virtues (identified above) that motivate change in the way people live their lives.  This pursuit contributes to a better life for us all, and is recognized by the UN & USA as an effective charitable means to attain this end.  

For this upcoming Winter, we are proud to introduce Goal0 as a sponsor.  Goal0 provides portable solar power for every day situations as well as massive expeditions.  They are providing some solar panels & batteries to be delivered to SECMOL, a local alternative school that is providing Ladakhi children of all religions with an opportunity to get a real education and broaden their horizons. They have also developed very promising young hockey players!

In less than a month, the next excursion to Ladakh begins.  The work started two years ago will be continued, with many bags of equipment donated by people from around North America, as well as the solar power products provided by Goal0.  This is going to be a big expense to drag to the other side of the planet, and your support is greatly needed to make this possible.  Space to store the equipment is running low, and the desire to help these children is strong.

There are so many factors affecting the lives of Ladakhis, but without a doubt, there’s a lot of hardship.  The region was hit by the flooding of the Indus/Sindhu River that devastated Pakistan.  The town I spent weeks training the Indian Ice Hockey Team was hit the hardest.  Hundreds of people died.  Even without this tragedy, there are many difficulties to overcome.  I’ll tell you all about that in my next post.

For now, please consider donating.  Your support will make a big difference, no matter the size of the contribution.

Click here to read about the new logo of The Hockey Foundation.

Warmest regards,

-Adam Sherlip, Executive Director

Catching Up & Opening Up

“Where have you been?” “Why haven’t you posted anything in a while?” “Are you going back to India?”


All good questions.  

Questions that are going to be answered as directly as possible, but with backstory.

I’ve been back in New York since June 2009.  I spent a few months getting my life back in order, which included moving to Brooklyn (from Long Island) and taking a job at Eastern Mountain Sports, a company I had wanted to work for before I worked for the Islanders, and would allow me to outfit myself better, with better know-how, for future endeavors.

That job was supposed to be part time, to allow 100% dedication to The Hockey Foundation, but catching up on finances after 5 months out of the country was more difficult than originally anticipated, and that job turned into 40 hours and a supervisory position (manage the “gadgets & sunglasses” department, which I am very enthusiastic about).

At the same time, I was in discussions with an “organization” that seemed to be creating a TV program that would have similar characteristics to what The Hockey Foundation has been founded to do, and would allow me to provide my digital marketing expertise while also promoting and funding The Hockey Foundation.  The guys who run the “organization” are nowhere to be heard from, after making big promises and taking on a prominent sponsorship.  I kept pushing my schedule back, because I trusted them and truly believed in the concept.  It seemed like the perfect storm to continue making a difference for hockey players in India and ultimately around the world, earn a living, and be responsible for a full-scale digital marketing campaign with the backlog of ideas that I have.

Well, that’s apparently not happening.

If you followed my adventures in India, you’d know that my laptop broke while I was there.  With all the catching up on finances, getting a new computer was just below eating food and paying for transportation on my priority list.  Less than a month ago, I finally got something to hopefully last a few years, and keep me working before jumping on an aging PC, that I use primarily through Ubuntu, and is situated on a low-lying coffee table in front of my futon-bed.  Try doing any work on that when you get home near midnight and have work the next day.

To add insult to injury, the IRS had been planning to release Cyber Assistant, an online assisted 501(c)(3) application, that not only would streamline the application process, it is supposed to be significantly cheaper.  

A quick Google search will show you that the IRS recently announced another delay to Cyber Assistant.  This means that the application fee will be higher, the risk for mistakes will be higher, and the process will take longer.

These are not excuses.  Just reasons.  And now that some of the situations have been resolved/addressed, I’m pushing forward.  I’m tired of waiting.  Waiting for people to fulfill promises they made, or for the IRS to release a better application process.

These things have weighed on me for many months.  As I waited on them to resolve on their own, I sat idly, not posting too much on the website so as to not make promises that I can’t keep.  I still have an open-ended promise to deliver equipment to a women’s hockey team in Ukraine that has been unfulfilled to date because the Europe trip I expected from this “organization” in May never happened.

It will.  On my terms.  On your terms.  On our partnership.

India is very much still the focus of The Hockey Foundation.

There is a lot of work to be done in Ladakh, Kargil, Shimla, Dehra Dun, Delhi and around the country.  So much has happened, much of it good, but there is still a lot of improvement that needs to happen within India to make this program succeed for them.  Ultimately, my goal and desire is to share happiness through a game that has provided me with more than I could ever have expected.  But there’s still so much to do, and I plan to discuss that with you…soon.

Expect another post within the next 5 days or so, that will specifically address the plans for ice hockey development in India and how The Hockey Foundation needs your help.

Needless to say, funding is essential.  A lot of kind-hearted souls have donated their hockey equipment to be given to hockey players that don’t have the opportunities they do.  It takes a lot of money to move hockey equipment around the world.  Please help in making this a reality.

I feel relieved sharing this with you.  I hope it helps explain where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing and what my plans are.  The adventure has only just begun, so I hope you are willing to go on it with me!


Best wishes,