"When I think of everything we have accomplished as a Hockey is For Everyone Program from exposing kids from diverse backgrounds to hockey and skating, to extending vocational and educational opportunities, to fostering job creation pathways with our beautiful city, there has been one common denominator - one person who gives of himself selflessly in the name of inclusivity and progress - John Haferman"
President, Columbus Ice Hockey Club
John Haferman Nominated for the Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award
John Haferman is the Executive Director of Columbus Ice Hockey Club and the Director of Hockey for the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and 2020 Finalist for the Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award. John has spent over 30 years serving the City of Columbus and growing the game of hockey via the 28 rec centers operated by the City. In 1999, he co-founded Columbus Ice Hockey Club to grow the game of hockey among the city's diverse population. This passion has seen the program grow from touching 10-20 kids at inception to now exposing over 5,000 kids per year to skating and hockey. He has built the program to a point where we offer over over $30,000 per year in scholarships each year and since it's crreation CIHC has been able to provide over $300,000 in scholarships to help keep hockey affordable to our members. In addition, we have an equipment bank where we have distributed over $250,000 in equipment at no cost to participants in need as well.
John has tirelessly built Columbus Ice Hockey Club into one of 39 NHL Hockey is For Everyone programs affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. Of the 30,000 kids served over 20 years 16,000 have been African-American with an additional 4,000 being from other diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities. 7,500 of those served have been female. Program growth continues to show 10% growth consistently year over year. CIHC's network of members, parents, friends, and partners has allowed the club to grow within central Ohio and at a national level.
Under John's guidance CIHC has been providing year-round ice skating and ice hockey instruction for more than 30,000 program participants. We also provide off-ice programming for club participants in the areas of conditioning, academic support, violence prevention, and community service. We also focus on job creation opportunities and learning experiences for our participants. CIHC alumni work for the Columbus Recreation and Parks, Columbus City Schools, and various fortune 500 companies.
Columbus Ice Hockey Club offers multiple programs for the youth player starting at 3 years old (Learn to Skate/Learn to Play) to High School age. We are based out of the Columbus Fairgrounds so our program traditionally starts on November 1 with team practices commencing for most age groups in mid-late October.