The Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Hockey, CCM, Total Hockey along with Wild forward Charlie Coyle today announced the Little Wild Learn to Play program, a new initiative designed to introduce the game of ice hockey by overcoming affordability barriers that typically limit involvement at the beginner level in an effort to increase participation in youth hockey and grow the game.
The inaugural program will kick off in September, when nearly 500 youth will have the opportunity to participate at one of eight arenas across the State of Hockey, with plans to grow and expand it each year. 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 all while having fun experiencing the game of hockey.
“It’s our mission to continue creating a greater State of Hockey, so today we are thrilled to be launching the Little Wild Learn to Play program,” said Minnesota Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka. “We are truly thankful to our partners Minnesota Hockey, CCM and Total Hockey who have not only made this program possible, but will help us take it to the next level.”
Registration for Little Wild Learn to Play will begin on May 27 on Wild.com on a first-come, first-served basis and is open for children aged five to eight. The program is open to those who have not already participated in Mite Level hockey programs. Children with any previous hockey league or program experience are not eligible to participate in the program.
The program will include professional instruction by licensed USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey instructors. Wild forward Charlie Coyle will participate as a guest instructor at select sessions. Each participant will receive co-branded Little Wild and CCM equipment including skates, hockey bags, jerseys, helmets, gloves, pants, pads, socks and sticks. The cost of the program includes all equipment and four hours of on-ice instruction. If not enrolled in the program, the Little Wild equipment will still be available through CCM at Total Hockey locations for $200.
“I’m excited to be a part of the Little Wild program,” Coyle said. “I have great childhood memories from playing the game and it’s obviously had a really positive influence on my life. I want to do whatever I can to share this great sport with others, especially kids, and continue growing the game.”
“Minnesota Hockey is very much looking forward to the first-ever Little Wild Learn to Play program,” said Glen Andresen, Executive Director of Minnesota Hockey. “This program will help extend our efforts to introduce more families to the great game of hockey around the state, who want to give the sport a try at an extremely low cost. This will have a huge impact on growing the game and supporting our local community-based associations. We are so thankful for the support of the Minnesota Wild, CCM, Total Hockey and Charlie Coyle.”
“We're excited to partner with the Wild, Minnesota Hockey and Total Hockey on this outstanding program,” said Reebok-CCM Hockey trade marketing executive Bob Fallen. "We're involved in ‘Little NHL’ programs in other U.S. cities which have enjoyed great success in welcoming families to the sport of ice hockey. Seeing these young players take to the ice for the first time in our gear is a real thrill.”
“No sport can match the benefits that hockey provides our youth in terms of fitness, character, discipline and teamwork. We appreciate the opportunity to give back to our local Minnesota communities by providing wider access to this great game,” said Michael Benoit, President and CEO of Total Hockey.
Little Wild Learn to Play Locations and Times
|Location ||rink ||day ||dates ||time |
|Duluth ||heritage center ||Sunday ||9/7, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28 ||4:30 pm |
|eagan ||eagan civic center ||Monday ||9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29 ||6:45 pm |
|mankato ||all seasons center ||wednesday ||9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1 ||5:30 pm |
|plymouth ||plymouth ice center ||wednesday ||9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1 ||6:00 pm |
|prior lake ||dakotah arena ||wednesday ||9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1 ||6:20 pm |
|st. cloud ||mac ||thursday ||9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2 ||5:45 pm |
|st. paul ||highland arena ||wednesday ||9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1 ||5:40 pm |
|woodbury ||bielenberg sports center ||wednesday ||9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1 ||5:55 pm |
- All details subject to change.
- Skating lessons are highly recommended prior to the start of the Little Wild Learn to Play Hockey program.