Cobbers give back

Hockey teams help community’s youth one slap shot at a time

hockey graphic, from websiteBoth the men and women’s hockey teams at Concordia are putting the Becoming Responsibly Engaged in the World motto into action.

Through partnering with the inSports Foundation, the teams have been able to offer children across the state the opportunity to play the sport of their liking.

The inSports foundation was created in 2013 by a group of coaches including Concordia men’s hockey coach, Chris Howe.

The foundation was created in memory of Anthony Titus, Jr. who was killed at the age of 16 in a gang crossfire shoot-out on July 4, 2010.

Besides offering children the opportunity to play sports, they also help children live a healthy lifestyle.

“Our mission is to help kids get involved in sports that aren’t financially able to,” Chief Marketing Officer Candy Wolff said. “We want to help in any way we can. If they’re sick, they can’t (participate in sports).”

According to Howe, the idea to become involved with the inSports Foundation started when two fellow cobber hockey players came and talked to him about their ideas.

“Max Smith came up with the idea,” Howe said. “He told me that he had already come up with the idea (to work with) inSports but wanted to consider creating a foundation.”

Through partnering with other organizations across campus, the hockey team’s dream has become a reality.

“We’ve been partnering with the Concordia Dance Marathon,” Smith said. “We are also looking into getting help from other sport(s) teams and organizations.”

Howe is also pleased with the amount of support they have gotten from the Innovation Office. The office is the represents sales and provides money for various organizations in order to get them functioning.

The office not only provided the team with money to start off their project but also provided an employee to take care of the legal aspect of the project.

Chief Financial Officer of Innovative Office Solutions Brooks Smith is helping the team by being involved in the legal aspect of the cause.

Smith hopes that when the men look back at their work they realize how much their work has helped others.

“(When they) look back in five years, they’ll realize (they) made a difference,” Smith said.

Howe has noticed that being involved in the foundation has enabled him to see the positive side of things when he is having a tough day.

“I look at what we are trying to create. Gets me back to work really fast and being there for players and family,” Howe said. “ Lets you know who we’re doing it for.”

Aside from working with the inSports Foundation, Smith and his fellow teammates are working with youth in the community by getting them involved in the hockey community.

“This Friday while we are playing Hamline, we gave free tickets to the members of the New Direction Hockey Program,” Smith said. “The kids will get to see the game and talk with the players of both the men and women’s hockey teams.”

Although the hockey team is grateful for the help they have gotten from the inSports foundation, the assistance the players have given the foundation has not gone unnoticed.

“Max, coach and I met last July to get something together, and now we are setting up our own camp,” Wolff said. “If it wasn’t for their passion and brilliant ideas to help kids, we wouldn’t be where we are.”

Howe feels this project has been a success not only because of the dedication the men have to the foundation but also because of the age of the men.

“Working with college students (is great because), you’re so open to things,” Howe said. Howe said college-aged people are at a point in life where they can do something and make it happen.

“So inspiring to be around everyday,” Howe said.

This summer, Smith will be helping at the first hockey camp in which the inSports foundation will be hosting. The camp will be held in Moorhead at the youth hockey arena from July 9-11.

Along with assistance from various NHL players, Coach Howe, junior Andrew Deters and Smith will be teaching the participants new hockey techniques.

If Smith would not have confronted Howe and his fellow teammates, the impact they have made in the community may not have been possible.

Although their involvement in the inSports foundation has taken a lot of commitment, Howe wants students to know that even though nothing in life is free, they should not refrain from shooting for the stars.

“It’s not going to be easy; nothing’s free,” Howe said. “If you want it, you’ll go for it.”

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