ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals alumnus Errol Rausse visited Thomas G. Pullen Elementary School in Landover, Md., on March 27 for a Capitals Hockey School assembly as part of the Future Goals program.
Hockey School is a free program, designed to be both instructional and interactive, with the goal of exposing students to floor hockey while teaching proper technique. Joined by Capitals mascot Slapshot, Rausse directed a floor hockey session in the school’s gymnasium with more than 150 fifth- through eighth-grade students.
During the assembly Rausse participated in a question-and-answer session and led a skills demonstration. He guided students through drills focusing on stickhandling, passing and shooting prior to inviting students to demonstrate what they learned. The clinic concluded with students participating in a brief scrimmage joined by Rausse.
“It is great to see the Caps team up with teachers and bring a new positive experience to local kids,” said Rausse. “Giving kids opportunities beyond the norm is always positive. You never know where the next great player will come from.”
Rausse, a former Capitals left wing, appeared in 31 regular-season games with the team from 1979-82. He also played for the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League (AHL) from 1979-83 before finishing his career in Europe.
Following the clinic, the Capitals donated a set of street hockey equipment to the school. For completing the program, students earned a certificate as well as a hockey 101 book, foam puck and autographed photo from Rausse. Thomas G. Pullen Elementary School also received a Capitals Hockey School banner to display in their school gymnasium.
“We have interest in hockey already at our school, but the issue has always been equipment,” said Norman Hayes, physical education teacher at Thomas G. Pullen Elementary School. “In fact, we are getting ready to start a three week hockey unit, and with this donation from the Caps, all of our students will now get to participate.”
2014-15 marks the eighth consecutive year the Capitals have conducted their Hockey School program. The Capitals have hosted more than 80 clinics and reached more than 10,000 students in the past eight years.
Future Goals is a partnership between the Washington Capitals, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association. Through the Future Goals digital learning initiative, students will build their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills using the fast-paced, exciting game of hockey as a learning vehicle. The program is committed to sparking student interest in STEM topics and helping students become college-ready, career-ready and life-ready.