It started as a joke, a gimmick created by a Flyers fan who noticed that his favorite player had a penchant for falling while he was on the ice. And now, #Hartnelldown has turned into a phenomenon.
Two seasons ago, fan Seth Hastings decided to keep a count of how many times Scott Hartnell fell during the year. The #hartnelldown hashtag became a big thing on Twitter amongst Flyers fans, a shared amusement over Hartnell’s clumsiness. Last season, Hartnell was made aware of the hashtag, and embraced it in a way that no one could have imagined.
Today, #Hartnelldown is not just a hashtag, but a charity endeavour. There is HartnellDown merchandise, and all proceeds benefit various hockey camps that Hartnell is involved with. He himself has donated to the cause; for example, he made a pledge to donate money for each time he fell during the 2012 All-Star Game. And this weekend, ten Philadelphia youths are getting the opportunity of a lifetime, all thanks to the HartnellDown Foundation.
Ten young hockey players will be joining Hartnell at the first annual #Hartnelldown hockey camp in Brainerd, Minnesota beginning on Sunday, August 12, thanks to proceeds from #Hartnelldown merchandise and assistance from Snider Hockey.
“It’s been incredible, the amount of support I’ve gotten from Philadelphia,” Hartnell told Comcast SportsNet’s Tim Panaccio. “From Philadelphians, from Canadians, from people all over the world buying stuff. It’s kind of neat.”
The #Hartnelldown camp will be an eye-opening experience that shows what professional hockey players have to do to prepare for the upcoming season, according to Hartnell.
“We skate twice a day and work out two or three times a day. Basically, you live, breathe, and sleep hockey.”
The group of ten were nominated by their coaches, and selected from a pool of 1,200 youths participating in after-school programs in Philadelphia and Camden. Each camp participant earned a spot because of their contributions and achievements on the ice, in school, and in their communities.
Snider Hockey’s mission is not only to use hockey as way to help high-risk inner-city kids build character and learn the importance of respect and hard work, but to also reward participants for their efforts.
Thanks to the overwhelming support of #Hartnelldown and Snider Hockey, this is a reward that these ten youths will never forget.
For more information on the #Hartnelldown camp, and to learn how to contribute to the cause, please visit www.hartnelldown.com.