New York Rangers Youth Street Hockey presented by Coca-Cola "Get the Ball Rolling" kicked off on October 28th in Union Square Park. This season marks the fifth year of the program which has reached over 7,500 children in the tri-state area since its inception. This year, the program hopes to reach another 3,000 children bringing the total to more than 10,000 kids in 5 years.
The Launch Event hosted 60 children from the NYC Parks Department who had the opportunity to play in a tournament style format with current Rangers forwards Anthony Duclair, Kevin Hayes, and Lee Stempniak. The Street Hockey Program introduces the sport of hockey to a wide audience and eliminates barriers that prevent participation.
"We played street hockey every chance we had, whether it was with my neighbors or my brother," said Hayes. "Just being able to get out there in the street and shoot the ball around was pretty amazing."
In addition, the Rangers recognized seven children who have been participating in the program since it started five years ago. Also recognized was volunteer coach Bob Weyersberg who has donated countless hours of his time to help recruit coaches, schedule games, and help kids improve their skills.
After the awards were handed out, the children were invited into the rinks to play with the Rangers.
Duclair stated, "It's good to put a smile on the kids’ faces here and just give back to the community."
Registration for the 2014-15 season is now open. For more information or to register please visit www.newyorkrangers.com/goskate.