Red Wings partnership to bring hockey to 30,000 youths

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

A $1 million partnership involving the Detroit Red Wings will bring hockey to 30,000 youths in Detroit over the next two years.

Officials with the Red Wings, the Detroit Red Wings Foundation and the NHL/NHLPA Industry Growth Fund announced Tuesday that thousands of young people across the city will have the opportunity to participate in the Detroit Red Wings' Learn, Play, Score program.

Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin (71) carries the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres.

This program is designed to grow and expand access to hockey in Detroit through community partnerships with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Parks & Recreation Department, the Detroit Public Schools Community District, EverFi and the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.

"This is all about empowering the youth in our city," Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc. and president and CEO of the Red Wings, said. "Hockey is more than just a sport. It is about teamwork, dedication, maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit. We are committed to being a leader in finding innovative ways to connect younger generations to hockey in the community."

The Learn, Play, Score program will engage 79 DPSCD elementary and middle schools, 12 Detroit Parks & Recreation “Fun Centers” and four Boys & Girls clubs across the city in the next year, officials said.

Ice rinks within the newly-formed Detroit Hockey Rink Collaborative, including East Side Hockey Ice Arena, Jack Adams Memorial Arena and the outdoor rink at Clark Park, will offer affordable skating lessons and "Little Wings" learn-to-play programs.