THE RINKS, Lady Ducks boosting girls hockey in the state
We all know that hockey is growing in Southern California, but the one thing that you may not notice is how much of that growth is from female hockey players.
According to USA Hockey’s 2017-2018 Final Registration Report, California contains the eighth-most female hockey players under the age of 18 in the country. With over 1,800 registered last year, one of the many reasons why California is within the top ten states in girls hockey is because of THE RINKS’ own highly-acclaimed Anaheim Lady Ducks program.
Continuing to outpace the USA Hockey projected growth for girls programs in the country, the Lady Ducks now field 14 girls teams, including two track-level SCAHA 8U teams. While the on-ice accomplishments are incredible, the off-ice accomplishments are even more outstanding as over 100 players have been signed to scholarships at the Division I and III collegiate levels as the program focuses on developing not only good hockey players but molding the individual as well.
So when the time came to give back to the community and help build the base for the next group of female hockey players, you knew that they would play a part.
On Oct. 7, as part of the IIHF and USA Hockey’s World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend, THE RINKS hosted nearly 100 new female hockey players for a special Girls Try Hockey For Free Day at three different sessions held at The Rinks-Lakewood ICE, The Rinks-Irvine Inline and The Rinks-Poway ICE.
The participants, most with little to none hockey skating experience, were given the chance to learn the fundamentals of hockey for free. To make the experience special, members of the Lady Ducks organization came out to form almost the entire coaching base.
“(THE RINKS) are not just looking to provide the chance for these new hockey players to try hockey, but we also want to make the experience a memorable one,” said THE RINKS marketing coordinator Kirstie Bender. “Sometimes, hockey can mistakenly be referred to as a man’s sport and that stereotype alone can intimidate girls from coming to try it. Having players and coaching staff from the Lady Ducks organization made the world of a difference to new players. Not only did we see the new players instantly become comfortable having another girl coach them, we also saw their exactment when they realize how good their coaches were and how good they could be with just some more work.”
After the hour-long session, the experience was made even more memorable as all the participants were invited to watch the Anaheim Ducks take on the Arizona Coyotes with their new friends and coaches later in the season where they will be recognized in front of the entire crowd.
“It is nice to tie in everything by bringing all the participants to the Ducks game together,” said THE RINKS marketing director Jesse Chatfield. “From the bottom to the top, the Anaheim Ducks know the importance in growing the game through grassroots programs and embracing the sport for both boys and girls. To have their support to not only provide an opportunity to play the sport for free, but also attend a game for free, just shows how value the growth of hockey in the community.”
While the day provided a special opportunity to try hockey once, THE RINKS continue to offer multiple programs designed for new hockey players of all ages and for both boys and girls alike. As part of another USA Hockey initiative, THE RINKS will take part in USA Hockey Try Hockey For Free Day with multiple sessions that will be available throughout Southern California on Nov. 10. Meanwhile, THE RINKS will always continue to offer the Anaheim Ducks Learn to Play Hockey program all year long.
For more information on how you can get your son or daughter to start playing hockey at THE RINKS, visit www.therinks.com.
— THE RINKS Staff
(Oct. 25, 2018)