RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team will invest $215,000 into a new girls' youth hockey program as part of the NHL's Industry Growth Fund. Hurricanes Girls' and Women's Hockey Specialist Alyssa Gagliardi will head the program, set to begin in March.
"Expanding access to youth hockey in North Carolina has always been important to our organization," said Waddell. "Girls' hockey in the area has been expanding rapidly in recent years, and we want to do everything we can to support that growth and retention."
"Making the game of hockey inclusive for everyone has always been at the forefront of the Hurricanes organization. The opportunity to create a program for young girls at the introductory and recreational levels of hockey to play with peers and develop not only hockey skills, but skills such as teamwork and self-confidence, is a game-changer for future generations," said Gagliardi. "The goal of the Canes Girls Youth Hockey program is to provide an all-girls environment to continue to foster the love of the game, build friendships and help ensure young girls have female role models to look up to in the sport."
Canes Girls Youth Hockey will be the next step for the team's First Goal program, which will continue to serve as the starting point for youth hockey players in the Triangle. The program will further the on- and off-ice development of girls ages 6-12 who have previously played at the Learn to Play or Recreational levels. As program director and head instructor, Gagliardi will combine fun, high-energy, skill-based practices at Wake Competition Center with off-ice training, weekly lectures and goal-setting activities to help the participants grow into strong young women as well as talented players.
Learn more about the program