Approximately 1,200 Pittsburgh area youngsters will receive FREE head-to-hockey equipment this winter, thanks to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who today announced the return of the Little Penguins 'Learn to Play Hockey' program for its ninth season.
The program is designed to introduce the game to boys and girls ages 4-8 - with the unique advantage that each participating child receives free, brand-new hockey equipment, including skates.
Online registration begins Tuesday, November 1 at 10 a.m. at https://www.nhl.com/penguins/community/learn-to-play.
Programs will be held at 25 area rinks, featuring age-appropriate instruction based on USA Hockey's ADM model.
Approximately 8,000 boys and girls have participated in the program since its inception.
Through the combined efforts of Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, DICK's Sporting Goods, CCM, the NHL, the NHLPA and USA Hockey, each child in the program will receive CCM SC87 Crosby-endorsed equipment, including skates, stick, helmet (with cage), gloves, pants, pads, an equipment bag and an official "Little Penguins" jersey.
"The goal continues to be creating 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."
"It's an amazing program, and Sid deserves the credit," said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the Penguins. "Early in his career, Sid and his family came to us with an idea to help parents by providing free equipment to properly equip their children, and the program has grown far beyond our expectations. The Penguins Foundation is honored to join CCM, DICK's Sporting Goods in supporting the 'Little Penguins.'"
Following the registration period, participants will pick up their new equipment at pre-selected DICK's Sporting Goods locations in January 2017.
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. Skating lessons are highly recommended before starting the program.
For more information, and to find participating local rinks, please visit https://www.nhl.com/penguins/community/learn-to-play.