The Nashville Predators Street Pride program kicked off the 2008-09 season by welcoming two new centers into the program, Bridges Academy and Boys and Girls Club Vine Hill. The Predators hosted hockey clinics and donated a complete inventory of street hockey equipment to each of these locations. ( Street Pride Video with Pekka Rinne & Joel Ward
On October 16, the Predators visited Bridges Academy which also happens to be a Predators Foundation Feature Charity. Bridges Academy is a small all boys school located in East Nashville whose mission is to prepare inner city boys to be academically competent, servant leaders who change their communities and the world. The Predators who only two weeks prior invited all the boys from the school and staff out to a preseason game hosted a school supplies drive to benefit Bridges Academy. The school items from this drive were delivered along with a whole new set of hockey equipment. A presentation was made by the Predators and then the boys began to learn about the history of the Predators and were instructed on specific skills and drills to play hockey. The event wrapped up with a scrimmage where the boys were able to put what they had learned to practice.
The Predators hosted another street pride hockey clinic with the Boys and Girls Club Vine Hill as part of the Predators Community Relations Day on October 20. Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne
and forward Joel Ward were on hand to greet more than 50 kids along with showing them some hockey fundamentals. The players split up and participated in a spirited scrimmage along with team mascot GNASH. The players encouraged the kids to show good sportsmanship and talked about the value of hard work. At the closure of the event the players signed autographs for everyone and it was announced that each boy and girl from the center were invited to come check out the next Predators home game.
The Street Pride Program is an NHL initiative which aims to organize a league-wide street hockey program to serve local community by providing an athletic and educational hockey program free of charge. Open to kids ages, 6-16 the Preds partner with local community centers to provide street hockey equipment, training and follow up clinics through the Street Pride program.
Currently the Nashville Street Pride Program has 39 centers. For more information about this program or to find out how to become a program center please visit www.nashvillepredators.com/youthhockey
In the month of November the Nashville Predators will be hosting Street Pride clinics at two additional street pride center locations the Lindsley Street location of Youth Encouragement Services and the Martha O’ Bryan Center.