COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Charlotte Metro Hockey Association (Indian Trail, N.C.), Homer Hockey Association (Homer, Alaska) and Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association (Kirkland, Wash.) have been selected as the recipients of the USA Hockey Grow the Game Award, presented by Total Hockey. For the sixth consecutive year, the award recognizes youth hockey associations for their efforts to create new and innovative ways to grow the game of hockey.
The three winning associations were voted as this year’s top submissions. Total Hockey awards the first-place finisher (Charlotte Metro Hockey Association) with 30 sets of starter equipment, second place (Homer Hockey Association) with 20 sets, and third place (Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association) with 10 sets.
As a result of these nationwide initiatives, participation in youth hockey around the country continues to grow thanks to volunteers and the new programs they are implementing.
Inspired by USA Hockey’s growth initiative, the 2 and 2 Challenge, Charlotte Metro Hockey Association implemented a supplementary “Grow in Schools Program.” Local volunteers and Extreme Ice Center staff members taught floor hockey during gym class for one week to several elementary schools. Within one to two weeks of visiting a school, they held an on-ice Try Hockey For Free event for the elementary school kids. As a result, they held seven Try Hockey For Free Events since inception, which included up to 80 participants per event.
As the only non-profit rink in the State of Alaska, it is essential for the Homer Hockey Association to annually grow participation. In doing so, Homer has implemented a variety of unique and creative ways to attract more kids to the rink. These “fun activities” are spread out every couple of weeks throughout the season. They included the Zamboni Tour, Dress the Coach, Skate-A-Thon and Family Skate programs.
Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association has introduced more kids to the sport of hockey through a variety of programs including It’s Great To Skate Reading Program, Physical Education Teacher Outreach Program, Parks and Recreation Advertising, promotion within the ice rinks and monthly Try Hockey For Free events. With their introductory programming, Sno-King has found that more instructor-parent/participant interaction equals greater success with converting kids to youth hockey.
Total Hockey and USA Hockey encourage youth hockey associations nationwide to tell their stories of growing the game at a local level. Click here to learn more about the USA Hockey Grow the Game Award, presented by Total Hockey.
NOTES: Associations can begin submitting their application for the 2015 USA Hockey Grow the Game Award, presented by Total Hockey, in January. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Entries are judged on four criteria: creativity, media/marketing potential, transferability to other local programs interested in growing the game and the overall impact the program had on the local youth association.