Hockey has been a large part of Sean Simmonds life for 35 years now. The sport has given him so much, including an unbreakable bond between him and his eight year old son, AJ. Sean and his son both shoot right, play right wing, and can both be found cheering on P.K. Subban on Nashville Predator game nights. AJ now dons the number three when he takes the ice, just like his father.
This father/son duo have a number of traditions involving hockey, such as skating parties and grown-ups vs. kids games. Every year, Sean with the help of the local parents put on a charity event for the kids to play in. AJ always looks forward to these affairs and often asks his father when the next event is, anticipating Sean is in the midst of planning something fun for the kids. AJ’s assumption was correct and this year Sean and some of the fellow parents are creating a Kids Fun Summer Hockey program. Sean states that it’s all about, “teaching the kids lessons about entrepreneurship, the importance of charity, and the significance of working with friends and family to do whatever you set your mind to”.
After all of those years of hockey giving to Sean, now as a parent he uses hockey to give back to the community. In previous years, Sean has run tournaments, adult leagues, and fun games for the kids. All of these events are non-profit as he donates the money raised to a charity chosen by the kids. Last year Sean put on an “IP FUNdraiser” that involved 100 kids on 8 teams for a one-day tournament. All proceeds went to one of the parents who was preparing for a kidney transplant. This year, the Summer Fun Hockey program proceeds will go to a friend of Sean’s whom he played hockey with, Jamie Hynes. Jamie was diagnosed with cancer in March 2017 and is currently away from work undergoing chemotherapy. It is a long journey for Jamie to get back to good health, so it is only fitting that the money raised goes to the Hynes family to help them through this difficult time.
“Being able to support something like this, and all the lessons that come with it, is exactly why we setup this summer game”. Sean’s motivation is evident, he is all in for the kids and the community and as an added bonus, he gets to spend more time with his son.