REN Hockey is a non-profit organization using hockey as a tool for social development in the Khayelitsha township of the Western Cape, South Africa. Currently we are working with youth in two local primary schools, Nolungile and Seville.
My name is Carenna Neely and I am the founder of REN Hockey. REN, a nickname given to me by one of my high school hockey coaches, empowered me by making me feel part of a team, and motivated me to work hard alongside this team to be the best we could. In 2008 we won the Pennsylvania State Championship. This motivation and nick name followed me to Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania where in 2013 we won the first National Championship since 1972. To me REN is a name that has built me up and empowered me to feel that not only can I be part of something special, but I can create it. At REN Hockey I hope to pass these feelings on to the youth in Khayelitsha so that they too can feel part of something special.
REN Hockey officially began in August 2018 with two introductory sessions where a total of 78 kids from two primary schools attended. After a few months of setbacks we are now running consistent sessions on Saturday mornings. March 9th, 2019 marked our first day back! Through our training sessions we hope to ignite a joy for health, learning, and teamwork. As the program grows, we will implement academic support sessions along with leadership skills training that will help the youth to see they are capable of amazing things. The aim of this program is not to create the next top hockey player, but to create strong and empowered young people who are able to complete high school, move on to further training or university and go out in to the world to be the change they hope to see.