The Colorado Avalanche received two five-year Industry Growth Fund grants to increase participation in street hockey in local elementary and middle schools. The Avalanche has activated the grants in partnership with Playworks Colorado and the Denver Public Schools Prep League to host over 700 students in street hockey leagues.
This grant was used to implement a "stick in hands" program at the elementary school level to increase youth interest in hockey and build a ball and street hockey program outside of the school setting.
This diversity initiative grant was used to develop a floor hockey league that is focused on broader "life skills" while using hockey as a tool to gain and hold the attention of the students to keep them fully engaged in activities that strengthen physical, academic and emotional development. It also presented a program in a new market that would not have otherwise been exposed to hockey while making a positive difference in the lives of our student participants and their community.
Colorado Avalanche Floor/Street Hockey in Partnership with Playworks Colorado
In partnership with Playworks Colorado, the Colorado Avalanche provided underserved elementary schools the opportunity for students to have access to safe and healthy play, with the goal of increasing physical activity to promote physical, emotional and cognitive well-being. Participating schools received coaching instruction by USA Hockey's and Positive Coaching Alliance, floor hockey equipment, jerseys and Colorado Avalanche game tickets. Each participant received a stick and ball to keep after the season so they could play at home. The program includes seven weeks of practices/scrimmages and concludes with an "extravaganza" for all participants and their families.
Colorado Avalanche Floor Hockey in Partnership with Denver Public Schools Middle School Prep League
The Colorado Avalanche partners with Denver Public Schools (DPS) Middle School Prep League for a spring floor hockey league. Denver Public Schools Athletics provides opportunities for participants as an extension of academics in a competitive and wholesome environment. DPS Athletics emphasize the promotion of life skills, citizenship, cooperation and work ethic in an interscholastic environment. The Avs' partnership with DPS Prep league aimed to increase the GPA and attendance rate of participating students and to be used as a tool to motivate academic success.
Participating schools received coaching instruction by USA Hockey's and Positive Coaching Alliance, floor hockey equipment, jerseys and Colorado Avalanche game tickets. Each participant received a stick and ball to keep after the season so they could play at home. The program includes six weeks of practices/games and concludes with a one week division playoff.
Both programs include Colorado Avalanche player, alumni, mascot Bernie and Ice Girl appearances.