Belleville, HNJ team up to rejoin Devils-sponsored hockey program

The Township of Belleville and Hockey in New Jersey (HNJ) have collaborated to reintroduce ball hockey programming and academics and enrichment offerings for Belleville youth.

This initiative will be centered at the Belleville Friendly House, with programming kicking off this fall.

“The collaboration between the Township of Belleville and HNJ reflects our commitment to providing our young residents with enriching experiences and opportunities for growth,” Mayor Michael Melham said. “By bringing ball hockey to our community, we are nurturing the spirit of teamwork, physical fitness and camaraderie.”

HNJ, the second-largest youth diversity hockey program in the United States, is committed to providing hockey programming at no cost for children who may not be well represented in the sport due to gender, race, ethnicity, disability or socioeconomic status.

HNJ provided hockey programming in Belleville in prior years, but it was discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic. The revitalized collaboration will enable Belleville residents aged 6 to 18 to participate in hockey programming, which will be offered by HNJ in partnership with the New Jersey Devils.

HNJ will also offer all Belleville participants virtual homework assistance in sessions facilitated by HNJ tutors.

To round out its offerings, HNJ will host virtual life skills workshops, with age-appropriate programming.

“Our organization is proud to work closely with the Township of Belleville to offer local youth the opportunity to learn, play and grow through the sport of hockey. Our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility means that Belleville children can now have access to the benefits of our program,” Richard A. Giuditta Jr., chairman of the Board of Trustees of HNJ, said.

“We are thrilled to partner with HNJ to provide our residents with access to hockey programming, an opportunity many have been eagerly waiting for. We look forward to the positive impact this collaboration will have on our community,” Thomas J. Agosta, recreation director for the Township of Belleville, said.

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