By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Haverford Hawks youth hockey team is hosting a tournament starting Thursday at the Skatium in Havertown that pits local kids against three teams from Helsinki, Finland.

The Finland Hockey Exchange was launched in 1998. Frank Rabadam says what’s become a two-way cultural exchange program was the brainchild of two Haverford Hawks dads — one from Finland.

“They came up with the idea of maybe getting a team from Finland to come over here and join us in our end of the season tournament,” Rabadam said.

This is the 19th edition of the exchange for 11 to 13-year-old boys, and some girls, supported with fundraisers and sponsorships. Among other activities, the visiting Finns, who stay with host families, get a chance to tour Philly and visit New York. But Rabadam says it’s about a lot more than hockey.

“The real meaning of this is becoming friends with other people around the world,” he explained.