THE RINKS, Great Park Ice succeeding with adult hockey
If you have not noticed, hockey in California is growing.
With the addition of the largest facility on the West Coast, Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena, the number of new participants is increasing in all ages. While THE RINKS and Great Park Ice offer programming for youth hockey players to experience the sport, including free introduction classes in their Learn to Play program, they also offer the same opportunities for adults, where the demand is just as high.
THE RINKS offers an Adult Learn to Play program that allows adults to try the sport of hockey for free while borrowing all of the necessary equipment, including skates for both ice and inline hockey. The free three-week program lays out the foundation for adults to begin their hockey career, no matter their age.
At the conclusion of the program, the new adult hockey players have the opportunity to further their skills in the adult skills clinics held at THE RINKS or can also jump in to a Rookie or Novice adult league to experience the thrill and excitement of being part of an actual hockey team in a fun and competitive league.
“What makes the Rookie and Novice adult leagues so fun is that the majority of the players in the league went through our Adult Learn to Play program together,” said THE RINKS marketing coordinator Steven Boddy. “The adult players start to create a friendship and bond while learning the fundamentals together and then they get to play together in the same league, creating a friendly competition between the players.
“We have seen a huge increase in our Adult Learn to Play participation and continuation into our adult beginner leagues. Obviously, the new facility created a new buzz about playing hockey, but I believe it was also just the continued growth of hockey in the region finally getting a break. In the past couple years, Southern California hockey teams have been so successful that the players were always there. Great Park Ice is just allowing more participants to actually participate than before.”
Kirstie Bender is an individual who took advantage of this opportunity and participated in the Adult Learn to Play program before signing up as a first-time player in a rookie league.
“As I grew up, I became more and more of a fan of hockey but always figured it was too late to learn as I was no longer a child,” Bender said. “Then I signed up for the Adult Learn to Play program offered at The Rinks-Lakewood ICE and had a blast. I learned a lot from the coaching staff in the free three weeks and even took advantage of some of the other adult clinics they offered to further my progression. By the time the program was over, I was hooked. I knew I had to continue playing hockey and signed up for the Rookie league. Since then, I’ve been having a blast playing with other adults who I met and became friends with during the Learn to Play and even a few of them are my teammates today. I definitely plan on continuing to improve my skills and continuing to play hockey.
“My advice for any adult out there who wants to learn hockey but might be too shy or too scared to try something new would be to take that leap. It might seem intimidating at first with no prior experience, but the staff does an amazing job of wiping those fears away and making the players excited to come to the rink every week to continue to get better.”
For more information on starting your adult hockey career, visit www.therinks.com.
— THE RINKS Staff
(May 31, 2019)