The Minnesota Wild and partners Minnesota Hockey, CCM and Total Hockey announced today that registration for the 2015 Little Wild Learn To Play program will open at noon (CT) on Tuesday, May 26 at www.wild.com/littlewild. Due to its success in the first year, five new locations have been added bringing the total this year to 12 participating communities across the State of Hockey.
The initiative is designed to introduce the game of ice hockey at the beginner level by offering a low-cost, low-commitment opportunity in an effort to increase participation in youth hockey and grow the game.
“Minnesota Hockey saw another solid year of growth at the 8 & Under level this past season, and I firmly believe the inaugural Little Wild Learn To Play program had a lot to do with that,” said Glen Andresen, executive director of Minnesota Hockey. “The success of last year’s program exceeded our expectations and the feedback from new hockey families was tremendous. Thanks to the Minnesota Wild, CCM and Total Hockey, we’ll be adding more hockey communities to the program which will allow the player base in the State of Hockey to keep growing.”
The Little Wild program will begin in September, when up to 720 youth will have the opportunity to take part. Each participant will be outfitted with gear from head-to-toe and receive four hours of professional on-ice instruction for $100. The program will also promote the importance of regular exercise, team work, and developing leadership skills while having fun experiencing the game of hockey.
“We are thrilled the Little Wild Learn To Play Program has been so well received,” said Minnesota Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka. “It’s our mission to create a greater State of Hockey, and together with our valued partners, we are excited to be able to share the game we love with even more children and families across Minnesota.”
Registration for Little Wild Learn To Play will begin at noon (CT) on Tuesday, May 26 on www.wild.com/littlewild on a first-come, first-served basis for children age five to eight (as of Aug. 1, 2015). The program is open to those who have not already participated in an organized youth hockey team or association. Completion of a learn-to-skate program is suggested in advance of Little Wild participation. Children with any previous hockey league or program experience (including previous Little Wild season) are not eligible to participate in the program.
The program at each location will be led by licensed USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey instructors. Each participant will receive co-branded Little Wild and CCM equipment including skates, a hockey bag, jersey, helmet, gloves, pants, protective pads, hockey socks and a stick. The cost of the program includes all equipment and four hours of on-ice instruction. If not enrolled in the program, Little Wild equipment will still be available for purchase (youth sizes only) through CCM at local Total Hockey locations while supplies last.
Little Wild Learn to Play Locations and Times
Bemidji (City Arena or Sanford Center)*Thursday9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/16 - 7 p.m.
Bloomington (Bloomington Ice Garden)*Wednesday9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/305:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Coon Rapids (Coon Rapids Ice Center)*Wednesday9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/305:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Duluth (Heritage Center)Sunday9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/44:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Eagan (Eagan Ice Arena)Monday9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/56:45 - 7:45 p.m.
Lakeville (Ames Arena)*Thursday9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/15:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Plymouth (Plymouth Ice Center)Wednesday9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/306 - 7 p.m.
Prior Lake (Dakotah Arena)Wednesday9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/306:20 - 7:20 p.m.
Rochester (Graham Arena)*Thursday9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/16:30 - 7:30 p.m.
St. Cloud (MAC)Thursday9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/15:45 - 6:45 p.m.
St. Paul (Highland Arena)Wednesday9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/305:40 - 6:40 p.m.
Woodbury (Bielenberg Sports Center) Wednesday9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/305:30 - 6:30 p.m.
* new 2015 location