|Photo by John Russell |
Predators forward Jerred Smithson shows a youngster how to properly hold a hockey stick.
The first annual Predators Pepsi Street Hockey Clinic was held Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. Over 100 boys and girls ages 8-12 had the opportunity to interact with Predators head coach Barry Trotz, forwards Scott Hartnell, Jerred Smithson and Jeremy Stevenson, defenseman Shea Weber
, and mascot GNASH for an evening of street hockey fun and education. Participants were split up into groups and then rotated through various activity stations as Coach Trotz and the players demonstrated basic hockey skills, including stickhandling, shooting and passing. There was also a lively scrimmage area.
In addition to providing entertainment and instruction, the Predators Pepsi Street Hockey Clinic exposed children to hockey at the grassroots level and in a form that makes it highly accessible. The clinic featured participants who entered and won a Pepsi contest at local Kroger stores as well as players who are currently part of a Street Pride hockey team through the Metro Parks Street Pride League.
The clinic was presented as part of the Predators Street Pride street hockey program. Predators Street Pride takes hockey off the ice and into the streets. The NHL has organized a league-wide street hockey program, called NHL Street, to serve local community centers and schools by providing an athletic and educational program free of charge. The NHL and the Nashville Predators have extended this program into the Middle Tennessee area through Street Pride, by providing street hockey equipment (sticks, rubber pucks, no-bounce balls, nets and protective goalie gear) and start-up street hockey instruction for coaching and instruction. The Predators also provide informative manuals for staff and participants, consistent follow-up with program centers, and player/coach clinics. Currently there are over 31 Street Pride centers throughout Middle Tennessee. For more information on Predators Amateur & Youth Hockey programs, please visit this site's Play Hockey section.
Photo Gallery: Predators Pepsi Street Hockey Clinic (9 photos)