Hawthorne Force Youth Ice Hockey Project

Hawthorne Force Youth Ice Hockey Project

Since Fall 2013, the Hawthorne Force Youth Ice Hockey Project has been allowing underprivileged kids the chance to experience a sport we all love. It was an idea that Hawthorne PD Community Relations office Sgt. Chris Cognac came up with as an opportunity to bring a cost-prohibitive sport to as many families as possible.

While Chris was in the infancy stages of the project, a hockey dad from Hawthorne was also looking for a way to help the community. Jon Seekins explains, “It was a coincidence that, while he [Chris] was still in the early stages of creating this project, I had reached out to him for some ideas on how to help the community. What are the chances that a Hockey Dad from Hawthorne, who is a certified USA Hockey coach, is looking for an opportunity to help the community and the local PD is trying to find a way to make hockey available to their kids?”

Chris worked very hard with the NHLPA to take advantage of their Goals and Dreams program to get a huge donation of 24 sets of equipment for the kids. Then, with some donations from local businesses, they were able to secure enough ice time at The Skating Edge to commit to 10 clinics.

In addition to Chris and Jon, the project gets volunteers from Hawthorne PD and local hockey players, including the women's LA Chill hockey team, and also local youth hockey players from the Jr. Kings, the Red Wings, OCHC, and Jr. Ducks.

“Our goal is to simply give kids without the opportunity to learn to play hockey,” says Jon. “It is a wonderful opportunity for me to teach my son Nathan and his friend Max Nguyen (Jr. Kings PW AA3) the importance of philanthropy and giving back to the community.“

Chris adds, “The boys serve as great role models on the ice for the kids to look up to and really help our practices go smoothly.”

Here are some video highlights from Week 3 practice.