California Rubber

California’s and Nevada’s Authoritative Voice of Hockey

THE RINKS, Ducks pushing girls hockey growth with free events


Back on Sunday, Oct. 8, THE RINKS and the Anaheim Ducks hosted “Girls Try Hockey For Free Day” at The Rinks – Anaheim ICE as part of the International Ice Hockey Federation and USA Hockey’s campaign to encourage girls to play hockey.

Over 50 girls from ages four to 12 participated in the hour-long session and were able to learn the basics of the game of hockey for free.


For this event, participants were outfitted with complete sets of hockey equipment (helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, shin guards, and pants) and coached by the staff and members of the Anaheim Lady Ducks organization, headed by coach Kathy McGarrigle.

“These events are great ways to remind our players where they started,” said McGarrigle. “For them to give back like this, and know that they are now setting an example and being a role model for another young girl, is something really special.”

The Lady Ducks led groups of participants in station drills that focused specifically on hockey fundamentals, such as skating, passing and shooting.

“Hockey itself can be a very intimidating sport to get into, especially for young girls that may have fears of taking the ice with boys,” said THE RINKS marketing coordinator Kirstie Bender. “This is one of my favorite events of the year to help organize, especially with the Lady Ducks’ involvement. It is a great way to show girls, young girls, that hockey really has a place for everyone.

“The work that Kathy and her team have done is really a testament to that.”

The Ducks and THE RINKS will continue their efforts to grow the game of hockey through their grassroots initiatives – the Anaheim Ducks’ Learn to Play Hockey program and the Little Ducks program – and by taking part in USA Hockey’s “Try Hockey for Free Day” on Saturday, Nov. 4, at The Rinks – Lakewood ICE.

“Events like ‘Try Hockey for Free Day’ and ‘Girls Try Hockey for Free Day’ are what allow us to continue to grow the game of hockey across Southern California,” said THE RINKS marketing associate Craig Appleby. “Every year, we see more and more kids going through our programs that started because of their first experience at a ‘Try Hockey for Free Day’ and that is really great to see.”

With THE RINKS Development Program launch in February 2009, the Ducks operate eight local skating facilities: four ice rinks (THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE, THE RINKS – Westminster ICE, THE RINKS – Yorba Linda ICE, THE RINKS – Lakewood ICE and THE RINKS – Poway ICE), as well as three inline facilities (THE RINKS – Huntington Beach Inline, THE RINKS – Irvine Inline, and THE RINKS – Corona Inline).

For information on THE RINKS program, visit

— Kirstie Bender

(Nov. 8, 2017)

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