COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – More than 7,500 children across the country had the opportunity to try hockey for the first time last Saturday (Nov. 4) during the first of two national USA Hockey Try Hockey For Free days this season. USA Hockey’s Try Hockey For Free days are focused on providing an opportunity for children who haven’t tried hockey to do so without cost.
Certified volunteers and coaches provided instruction and fun games for children to play on the ice, and host sites provided equipment for children to borrow.
“The favorite part of my job is getting to see so many families enjoy their first experience in youth hockey,” said Kevin Erlenbach, assistant executive director for membership at USA Hockey. “It’s truly inspiring to see so many people come together in welcoming new families to local rinks in all parts of our country.”
A total of 285 different sites across 40 states hosted Try Hockey For Free Events. Michigan led the way with 37 host sites, while Wisconsin followed with 33 rinks.
South Suburban Sports Complex in Highlands Ranch, Colo., welcomed 120 participants, the most of any host site in the country.
Other sites with notable attendance included Sports Stable in Superior, Colo., with 114 participants; The River’s Edge in Davenport, Iowa, with 91; SLICE in Monroe, Wis., with 70; and Ice and Golf Center at Northwoods in San Antonio, Texas, with 63.
With the support of the NHL and NHL member clubs, as well as sponsors and local associations, USA Hockey’s Try Hockey For Free days are designed to provide a national platform for introducing children to the sport free of charge. The events are the world’s largest introduction-to-hockey initiative.
NOTES: Pure Hockey is official sponsor of Try Hockey For Free … Now in its 14th season, USA Hockey’s Try Hockey for Free initiative has introduced over 250,000 children to the sport of hockey.