The Penn Ice Rink has hosted the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (ESYHF) since 2005. In 2019, the rink joined with the Foundation to have the Class of 1923 Ice Skating Rink serve as the home ice of Snider Hockey, ensuring that the rink can continue to serve hundreds of Philadelphia public school children each year.
Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation
Hoping to provide new opportunities for inner-city children to participate in "the greatest game ever invented," Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider created the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. He then partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to fund the participation of 450 Philadelphia elementary and middle school students in a series hockey clinics that run year-round. The program fosters the mission of the Foundation, which is to teach ice skating and ice hockey to children who otherwise might not have the opportunity to participate in these activities.
"Hockey is the greatest game ever invented, and my hope is to provide a chance for a whole new generation of children to learn and play the game," said Snider, "Through hockey, I want our participants to be able to learn about life, achieving successes and scoring goals, not just on the ice, but in life."
The Foundation program will also teach teamwork, positive self-esteem, respect of others and the importance of hard work. The program is designed for public school children ages 7 through 17, giving them the opportunity to learn the game through a series of clinics that are held at three premier Philadelphia ice rinks: The University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Ice Skating Rink in West Philadelphia; the Wissahickon Skating Club in Northwest Philadelphia, PA; and the Skate Zone in the Northeast Philadelphia.
The Foundation funds the purchase of hockey equipment for the use of every child in the program as well as the costs of transporting children to and from the ice. Working in partnership with the School District, the clinics are a part of the District's physical education curriculum for the participating students. Additionally, scholarships will be provided for participants to join in local recreational youth hockey leagues or local competitive youth hockey clubs as well as the cost to compete in USA Hockey in their communities.