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Rangers' street hockey program returns

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
PHOTO GALLERY: Tuesday's Launch Event

The New York Rangers, Coca-Cola, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and Boys & Girls Clubs have partnered to launch the second season of a free program to provide indoor youth hockey instruction for more than 1,500 New York City youth this winter. This year’s expanded “New York Rangers Youth Street Hockey Program presented by Live Positively, Coca-Cola” includes additional NYC Parks & Recreation centers and a new partner in the Boys & Girls Clubs, tripling the number of locations and participants for the program compared to the inaugural season.

Today Rangers Defenseman Ryan McDonagh and Alumni Nick Fotiu, along with Madison Square Garden Sports Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales Howard Jacobs, Coca-Cola Vice President of Regional Sales Brent Tollison, NYC Parks Assistant Commissioner for Public Programs Annika Holder and Boys & Girls Clubs Regional Service Director Mel Campos, kicked off this year’s program at a special indoor youth hockey clinic at the Chelsea Recreation Center in Manhattan.

Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh gave a bit of hockey instruction to the youngsters attending the launch event for the second year of the New York Rangers Youth Street Hockey Program presented by Live Positively, Coca-Cola. Tuesday's event was held at the Chelsea Recreation Center in New York.
“The New York Rangers are dedicated to establishing community awareness and interest in the sport of hockey through a variety of community programs and events that reach thousands of youth annually,” said Jacobs. “We are proud that in our second year we will be expanding our free street hockey program to introduce the sport of hockey to more than 1,500 youth with the help of our partners NYC Parks & Recreation and Boys & Girls Clubs, and the generous support of Coca-Cola.”

“Coca-Cola is proud to support programs that help to make a positive impact in the communities that we serve and to provide families with creative options for exercise and activity,” said Tollison. “Our partnership with Parks & Recreation and the Rangers offers New York City youth the opportunity to learn about the importance of energy balance in a fun and meaningful way.” 

“Parks is thrilled to once again team up with the New York Rangers and Coca-Cola to kick off a free indoor street hockey program for youth across the city," said Holder. “We hope that this program will introduce the sport of hockey to many young New Yorkers, and emphasize the importance of leading an active, healthy life. I encourage all kids to visit a participating recreation center and sign up to play.”

Through the 8-week program consisting of free, weekly youth indoor street hockey clinics, children and teens ages 8-16 will be able to learn a great sport and focus on the importance of physical activity. The weekly clinics will launch in December and run through the end of January and will be held at 33 different NYC Parks & Recreation centers and Boys & Girls Clubs in the five boroughs reaching more than 1,500 kids and engaging them in a healthy, active lifestyle this winter.

The hockey clinics will focus on introducing youth to the sport of hockey and teaching them the importance of exercising. Sports instruction will focus on individual skills, team participation, and fundamentals of the game such as passing, shooting and stickhandling. All participants will receive an official jersey, Rangers gift bag and basic hockey skills playbook. Participants may walk-in to clinics; no pre-registration is required, each clinic will have a maximum of 50 participants.

The program will offer individual awards and trophies for “Best Attendance” and “MVP” to encourage youth participation. The program will culminate in a final Street Hockey Festival where youth from all different boroughs will get to test their skills against each other in an outdoor tournament in May 2012 featuring special appearances by Rangers alumni. In addition, select youth participants may be awarded a free trip to attend the New York Rangers game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on February 19 as part of the Rangers “Youth Hockey Night.”
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