The New York Rangers and Chase today announced plans for several new grassroots youth hockey projects for the 2013-14 season as part of the New York Rangers Assist Supported by Chase community initiative. The Rangers Assist program launched last year and is designed to improve the youth hockey experience and increase opportunities and accessibility to the sport. Rangers Forward Brad Richards serves as a spokesperson for the initiative.
“It’s important that we continue to make the game of hockey as accessible to our young fan base as possible,” said Richards. “Through the New York Rangers Assist Program, we are continuing to reach more and more hockey fans who have a passion for the sport, by providing a variety of opportunities that can help them develop their skills.”
For the 2013-14 season, New York Rangers Assist Supported by Chase has identified New Rochelle Lightning Hockey and the Greater New York City Ice Hockey League as the marquee projects for the platform. Each youth hockey organization will receive a $25,000 donation from the Rangers and Chase that will assist with the reduction of participation fees for hockey events, new equipment donations for area families, expansion of learn to skate classes, and additional training will be provided to certified coaches to improve their ability to teach the game.
“We are proud to once again partner with Chase on this very important initiative to help provide support through equipment donations, free clinics and coaches training, to two youth hockey organizations in New York,” said Michael Guth, executive vice president of marketing, MSG Sports. “This program further expands the Rangers longstanding commitment to the community to help increase accessibility to, and ultimately grow, the sport of hockey throughout the tri-state area.”
Rangers Assist launched last season supporting two local hockey rinks, the Long Beach Ice Arena and Playland Ice Casino in Rye, that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. In the months following Sandy, the Rangers and Chase donated $25,000 to each rink towards refurbishments to help get the rinks back up and running again for the local communities. On September 28, Long Beach Ice Arena reopened with an event featuring a free family skating session, a “Try Hockey for Free” clinic and an exhibition hockey game with Rangers alumni Stephane Matteau, Ron Duguay, Ron Greschner and Nick Fotiu.
“We are pleased to partner with the Rangers to expand Rangers Assist,” said Colleen Canny, Senior Vice President and Northeast Region Manager for Chase. “Increasing opportunity for young hockey players in the tri-state area and helping facilitate these types of activities is important for communities to thrive.”
Along with the two marquee projects, the Rangers Assist program will also focus on local community drives for youth hockey equipment to be donated to ten Rangers Partner Rinks across the tri-state region throughout the year. The equipment will be distributed to hockey associations and community skating rinks to be made accessible to children in need.
Last season, the Rangers held over 250 community events in the tri-state area, giving more than 10,000 youth the opportunity to experience hockey through free camps, clinics, and skating events. New York Rangers Assist supported by Chase is part of an expanding list of Rangers community initiatives that focus on growing hockey throughout the tri-state.