On Monday, March 13, Predators defenseman Shea Weber
, mascot GNASH and the Predators Amateur & Youth Hockey staff hosted a Street Pride street hockey jamboree at the new Hadley Community Center located at 1037 28th Ave. N. in Nashville. The Hadley Community Center is one of 10 centers within the Metro Parks and Recreation system that participate in the Predators Street Pride hockey program.
Over 60 Metro Parks street hockey players participated in the jamboree. The event featured six teams in two age divisions--12-and-under and 13-15 years old--and consisted of mini-games, which are condensed street hockey games that allow each team to showcase its skills in a fun, athletic environment. The jamboree, which was free to participants, helped drive registration and awareness for the Metro Parks upcoming Street Pride spring league. Additionally, all team jerseys for the Metro Parks Street Pride leagues were provided courtesy of the Hockey Stop, a Nashville-based hockey pro shop. Players at the event received a ticket to an upcoming Predators home game courtesy of Southwest Airlines' "High Flyers" program, a Predators youth helmet and the opportunity to get autographs from Weber and GNASH.
Leading up to the event, the Predators offered a "basic rules" workshop for Metro Parks staff in February and donated street hockey equipment to all 10 Metro Parks community centers participating in the Street Pride program. The equipment was provided by the NHL through the league-wide program NHL Street.
Metro Parks has played an active role in the Predators Street Pride hockey program since its inception eight years ago--from developing an after-school program to organizing an in-house street hockey league! The following Metro Parks community centers will be offering the Street Pride program as part of their spring leagues: Coleman, Hadley, Hartman, Hermitage, Kirkpatrick, Looby, Napier, Rose, Watkins and West. For more information on the Metro Parks Street Pride spring in-house league, please contact a nearby Metro Parks community center.
"Our relationship with Metro Parks and Recreation through Street Pride is to help build a better future for today's youth through the participation of organized street hockey," said Andee Boiman, the Predators Amateur and Youth Hockey Coordinator. "This grassroots initiative increases our fan base and reaches out to kids of varied backgrounds and demographics who may otherwise not have the opportunity to play hockey. All a child needs to play this game are sneakers."
Predators Street Pride takes hockey off the ice and into the streets throughout the Middle Tennessee area, serving local community centers and schools by providing a fun, athletic and educational program free of charge. The Preds provide street hockey equipment (sticks, rubber pucks, no-bounce balls, nets and protective goalie equipment) and start-up street hockey instruction for coaching and education. The Predators organization also provides informative manuals for staff and participants, consistent follow-up with program centers, and player/coach clinics. The Nashville Predators have a partnership with over 30 centers participating in the Street Pride program throughout Davidson, Williamson and surrounding counties (including Boys & Girls Club, community centers, YMCA's and after school programs). For a list of current Street Pride centers or more information on how to establish a Street Pride program in your facility, please visit the Street Pride page or contact the Predators Amateur and Youth Hockey Department at (615) 770-2372.
Photo Gallery: Metro Parks Street Pride Jamboree, 03/13/06 (12 photos)