Old hockey sticks from CK to find new life through father-son project

Jason and Jakob Smith (Photo via Hockey Stick Flags Facebook)

Chatham-Kent residents who have old hockey sticks laying around are being given the chance to put them to good use.

Ryan McKeon with the Kent Minor Hockey Association is organizing a drive to collect hockey sticks for Hockey Stick Flags.

The initiative was created by Jakob and Jason Smith, a father and son duo from London who use old wooden pallets and broken hockey sticks to create Canadian flag artwork.

Money from sales of the pieces goes towards the long-term support of Jakob, who has special needs.

The pair’s story quickly went viral, with hundreds of hockey sticks being donated from across Ontario.

McKeon said he was scrolling through Facebook when he came across a post that someone shared about how the two didn’t have enough hockey sticks to complete all the orders they began to receive.

“They had a link on there about Jakob and Jason and the shortage of hockey sticks due to the pandemic,” McKeon explained. “So I thought, they’re collecting sticks in Windsor-Essex, why not do it in Chatham-Kent as well.”

McKeon will be collecting hockey sticks at Thames Campus Arena on Saturday (May 1) and Sunday (May 2) from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. He will also be at Tilbury Arena on Saturday from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m.

“Any sticks [people] have laying around that they’re not using can go to this great cause for Jakob’s long-term care and that would be great,” he said.

Jakob and Jason use both composite and wooden sticks for their artwork. Following the collection, McKeon will drive the donated sticks to London himself and deliver them to the pair.

“I just pulled 11 out of my garage myself,” he said. “It would be great to go down there with 1,000 sticks. I’m not setting any personal goals. Anything anyone can spare is great.”