In the heart of every hockey community lives a vibrant spirit of camaraderie and giving back. We’re talking beyond the parent volunteers at the kids games. If you haven’t found the hockey giving back opportunities, we share a bunch of ways giving back to youth hockey that you may introduce volunteering to your youth hockey players.

Hockey is a sport transcending the boundaries of age, background, and ability, uniting players and fans alike in the pursuit of teamwork, skill, passion, and fun. Deeply immersed in the world of youth hockey, our family has experienced firsthand the transformative power of volunteering within this incredible sport over the past thirty years.

Here are some great ways for youth hockey players to volunteer and give back in hockey:

  • Volunteer with you your local Learn-to-Skate, or Try Hockey For Free Program
  • Volunteer with diversity task force or alliance in your area
  • Volunteer at a summer hockey camp
  • Tutor your teammates (middle school and up)
  • Volunteer at a local youth hockey tournament

Service hours may be available as well. If you are reporting the service hours to your school, be sure the type of volunteering is approved. We offer helping at our Skills Event and helping at our Showdown Tournaments in Maryland and Tennessee. You can always give back for the reward of helping others.

Our hockey volunteer journey began with a simple desire to contribute to the growth and development of young athletes, and it led us down a path filled with meaningful experiences and lasting connections. From coaching learn-to-skate sessions to supporting inclusive initiatives, each volunteering opportunity has enriched our lives in profound ways.

One of our earliest endeavors involved coaching learn-to-skate programs, where we had the privilege of introducing aspiring young players to the fundamentals of hockey. To be involved with the learn-to-skate program, coaching certification was necessary. Earning a level 1 coaching certificate was easy. Witnessing the sheer joy and determination on the faces of some of hockey’s youngest taking their first strides on the ice was nothing short of inspiring. These sessions not only honed their skills but also instilled in them a sense of confidence and resilience that would serve them well both on and off the ice. It’s pretty cool to be a part of the beginning of someone’s hockey journey. 

  • While we don’t know how many of these young skaters continued in the hockey experience, one of the kids I helped coach in the Piney Orchard learn-to-skate program loved hockey so much, that he played through his four years at the United States Naval Academy. It’s pretty cool to know I was his first coach.
  • If you are looking to get involved with a Learn-to-Skate Program, the best way to find out how you can help is to check with your local rink or the Learn-to-Skate Program

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion in hockey led us to join forces with the NHL Diversity Task Force team in Cincinnati. We were there with the Chatham Family at the program’s inception, before it was aligned with the NHL, back in 1994. Together, we worked to promote accessibility and representation within the sport, ensuring that every child, regardless of background or ethnicity, had the opportunity to embrace the thrill of hockey. We coached together and had a blast helping kids learn to skate and develop their hockey skills. We secured used hockey equipment from my alma mater Mercyhurst University and helped the program train a group of kids that joined the Cincinnati Hockey Program and play travel hockey.

Beyond organized programs, our involvement extended to personal endeavors driven by a deep sense of compassion and empathy. Inspired by our son’s need for one and fifty service hours and his dedication, we witnessed the transformative power of hockey firsthand as he volunteered for the Washington Ice Dogs, a special needs hockey program in Maryland. 

  • We found the hockey program on the website of our son’s high school service hours page. Helping your child participate required help from his parents in transportation but, it was well worth the time. At first, our son didn’t think he was good enough at hockey to help others. He quickly found a supportive group of parents and hockey players who were thrilled to see him every Saturday morning. He started to fulfill his service hour requirement. He finished with so much more. He traveled with the team to a tournament out of stahigh school hockey players on ice, earning service hours at a hockey tournamentte and made so many hockey friends, all while giving back to the hockey community. I’ll never forget what he said about being interviewed by the local news on how he helped the team. His commitment to making a difference in the lives of others underscored the profound impact that individuals can have when they lend a helping hand. It also boosted his confidence as hediscovered he could coach and teach others to play hockey.
  • As our son’s journey in youth hockey volunteering continued,he seized the opportunity to organize and coordinate scorekeepers for a special needs hockey tournament as part of his high school service project. It brought together players from his high school team with families and players from all over the country, united by a shared passion for the game and a common goal of spreading kindness and inclusivity in hockey.

Through these experiences, we have come to appreciate the true essence of giving back in youth hockey. It’s not just about scoring goals or winning championships; it’s about nurturing a sense of community, compassion, and respect on and off the ice. We are proud to instill these values in our children and inspire the next generation of hockey enthusiasts to embrace the spirit of service and volunteerism.

To the young hockey players out there, we encourage you to seize the opportunity to volunteer for service hours at local tournaments and events. Your contributions make a difference and the younger kids look to you as role models. In giving back to the sport that has given us so much, we not only enrich the lives of others but also reaffirm the timeless bond that unites us as members of the hockey community.

Look beyond the scoreboard and the trophies on the shelf. Hockey is about the memories we create, the friendships we forge, and the lives we touch along the way. We invite you to come along with us continuing to spread the joy of hockey, embodying the true spirit of sportsmanship, one act of kindness at a time. If you have a volunteer opportunity for hockey players to give back to the hockey community, let us know. We’d love to add to the ideas of ways to give back to the sport.

___________________________________________________________________________We hope you have an awesome hockey season! We know these tips will help you find ways to give back in your hockey community!

Want more tips on having a great youth hockey experience, follow us on Social Media. We share our tournament experiences and tips daily. With over 30 years of experience organizing youth hockey tournaments, playing hockey, and giving back to the hockey community, we are a wealth of information in the sport. We look forward to having you volunteer at a Showdown Tournament!