The Play It Forward program, in partnership with Northwell Health and the New York Islanders, aims to make hockey accessible to all. Every season, three children will receive a scholarship to play hockey for three years with all costs covered. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must participate in a four week Learn to Play Program.

We will be providing more than just hockey experience, the key skills the participants will learn through training and games will set them up to succeed off the ice too. The program will cover the importance of teamwork and collaboration, nutrition, fitness, and exposure to career pathways.

Program Videos

Play It Forward: Tristen

Tristen Houseworth won the scholarship for the Play it Forward program presented by Northwell Health.

Play It Forward: Gianna

Scholarship winner Gianna has excelled at every step during the Play It Forward program presented by Northwell Health.

Scholarship Requirements

  • Child must be age 7 to 10 years old and must reside in the Hempstead, Roosevelt, Uniondale, or Freeport school districts

  • Commitment to attendance of program activities and events (schedule to be provided)


The Play It Forward Program is a collaboration between Northwell Health and the New York Islanders that seeks to provide opportunity on ice for children from underserved, minoritized communities that are economically disadvantaged.

Debbie Salas-Lopez: SR. VP of Community & Population, Health, Northwell Health

It didn't matter if they were falling, it didn't matter how well they played, just that they genuinely wanted to learn about our sport that we all love.

Jocelyne Cummings: Director of Amateur Hockey, New York Islanders


What is the difference between the Play It Forward Clinics vs. the Play It Forward Scholarship?
  • The Play It Forward Clinics occur over 4-weeks and exposes children to the exciting game of hockey, no experience is required and the aim of the program is to teach kids the basic skills needed in a fun and safe environment.

  • The Play it Forward Scholarship provides an opportunity for (3) three children to continue their hockey journey. With our partners at Northwell Health, all costs associated with playing the game and training will be covered for (3) three years - this includes (but is not limited to) ice time, equipment, and game costs. To be eligible for the scholarship, children must have participated in the 4-week Learn to Play program. While this program does revolve around the sport of hockey, we will also cover the skills needed to be successful in all areas of life using the extensive resources of the Islanders and Northwell Health. Topics to be covered include nutrition, the importance of movement, career decisions, motivation, team building, collaboration, and more.

Do I have to commit to 4 weeks?

We strongly suggest children attend all four sessions, but if any conflicts come up please reach out to us.

Are there any costs associated?

There are no costs associated with this program.

Does my child bring the borrowed equipment home with them?

Yes; Children will be given the equipment during the first week, and are responsible for keeping track of their equipment until the end of the program.

What COVID-19 safety protocols are in place?

Covid protocols are continually being updated and changed. We will be sending out communication to all families prior to the start of the Learn to Play Program outlining these protocols for the safety of you and your child.

Can I pick a session day that works best for my child?

We will take into account your preferences for which session day; but there is no guarantee.

Will transportation be provided?

Arrangements can be made for families who require transportation.

How long is each session?

Each session lasts for a duration of one (1) hour.

How does my child apply for the scholarship?

Register at

My child has never played hockey before. Is that okay?

Yes, this is an introduction to the sport of hockey with no minimum level requirements.

My child doesn't know how to skate. Is that okay? What skill level is required to participate?

Yes, all skill levels are welcome to register.

If you have any additional questions, please email