and the Pittsburgh Penguins have announced the return of the popular Little Penguins “Learn To Play Hockey” program for its third season.
The program is designed to introduce the game to more boys and girls ages 4-7 in the Pittsburgh area – with the unique advantage that each participating child receives FREE head-to-toe hockey equipment, including skates.
This year, 25 Little Penguins programs will take place at 22 different rinks. The continued growth includes four girls-only programs. Little Penguins will now be able to register and outfit 1,000 children – up from 600 a year ago.
Participating rinks range from Morgantown, WV to New Castle, from Altoona to Boardman, OH, from Southpointe to Delmont to Harmarville -- and many in between.
Registration begins on Tuesday, November 30 at 10 a.m. exclusively at www.pittsburghpenguins.com/littlepenguins.
Thanks to Crosby, the Penguins, Reebok and Dick’s Sporting Goods, each child in the program will receive Reebok SC87 Crosby-endorsed equipment, including skates, stick, helmet, gloves, pants, pads, an equipment bag and a “Little Penguins” jersey.
“The goal is to continue to create opportunities for more boys and girls in the Pittsburgh area to take up hockey,” Crosby said. “Sometimes, with the expense of skates and other equipment, it’s a challenge for these kids and their parents to get started. This program makes it a little easier for them – they can receive head-to-toe equipment at no charge and learn the game in an organized and fun way.”
“The existence of this one-of-a-kind program tells you all you need to know about Sidney Crosby
,” said Penguins CEO David Morehouse. “Sidney and his family came to us with this idea about helping parents by providing free head-to-toe hockey equipment to properly equip their children, and the program has grown every year. The Penguins are honored to join Reebok and Dick’s Sporting Goods in supporting Sidney’s efforts.”
Following the registration period, the kids will be fitted for their equipment at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores.
The on-ice programs will begin in January and February, and each program will offer between 8-10 on-ice sessions. The only cost involved is for ice time.
The growth of the Little Penguins program reflects the explosion in local youth hockey participation since its inception in 2008-09. During that time, enrollment in boys’ hockey has increased by 43 percent, and registration for girls’ hockey has increased by 39 percent.