Children growing up in Middle Tennessee may not always have the opportunity to step on the ice as soon as they can walk, but the Nashville Predators Youth Hockey Department is trying their best to make sure Tennessee’s kids get a taste of hockey as soon as they step through a school’s doors.
“The Hockey Rules program allows the Nashville Predators to get out in the community and start teaching kids about the sport of hockey at an early age,” Predators Youth Hockey Director Andee Boiman said. “It’s exciting to see the kids faces as they get to try shooting the puck just like their favorite Preds players do.”
Hockey Rules, a free hockey education and interactive experience, introduced more than 5,000 elementary and middle school students (grades 1 through 6) at 45 different schools to the sport of hockey during the 2013-14 season. Using street hockey equipment donated by the NHL Street Program, Hockey Rules focuses on the basic fundamentals of the sport – stick handling, shooting and teamwork, and educates students on the rules of the game and the importance of fitness and athletic participation.
Preds staff members and special guests take students through a one-hour session that includes obstacle courses to teach stick handling, shooting at nets and a friendly scrimmage that allows students to use their new skills. Students are also given an opportunity to ask questions about hockey and the Nashville Predators.
“Our students loved their day with the Preds and the instructors were engaging, fun and well prepared,” Jean Young, Physical Education Teacher at Franklin Road Academy, said. “Our students learned about the history of the Predators organization, some Nashville fun facts and the sport of hockey. I’d recommend Hockey Rules to all PE classes; the program accomplishes much more than just physical activity.”
If you work at an elementary or middle school in the Greater Nashville Area and are interested in having Hockey Rules at your school, visit www.nashvillepredators.com/hockeyrules or call 615-770-2371.