Kudos to the PBS NewsHour for taking time in Thursday evening’s newscast to tell the story of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, the nation’s oldest minority-oriented youth hockey program.
Since 1977, program founder Neal Henderson has shown that if you give a kid – no matter what race, ethnicity, or gender – a stick, a puck, some equipment, ice time, and a chance, they can become hockey players.
Henderson is a hockey lifer who teaches life through hockey. He uses the sport to instill teamwork, discipline, perseverance, responsibility and accountability in kids from some of D.C.’s toughest neighborhoods. He’s a gentle man who preaches tough love, a task master who takes time to make sure his players are alright, both on and off the ice.
Hockey is lucky to have him. And PBS NewsHour was thoughtful enough to show viewers the essence of what he and the Fort Dupont program are all about.
The Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club is part of the National Hockey League’s Hockey is for Everyone initiative which provides support and unique programming to non-profit youth organizations across North America that are committed to offering children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey.