San Diego Gulls to Host Learn to Play Hockey Clinics

Clairemont Times File Photo

The San Diego Gulls announced today that the American Hockey League (AHL) club will host several Learn to Play clinics at local rinks beginning in April. The first clinic, each of which has four sessions, will take place at Poway Ice Arena (12455 Kerran St #100, Poway, CA 92064), with sessions on Saturdays, April 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 3:15-4:15 p.m. Additional clinics will be held at Poway Ice Arena on Saturdays, May 14, 21, June 4 and 11 from 3:15-4:15 p.m. and at Carlsbad Icetown (2283 Cosmos Ct, Carlsbad, CA 92011) on Sundays, April 10, 17, 24 and May 1 from 10:15-11:15 a.m. More sessions will be added in the near future.

The San Diego Gulls Learn to Play program, like the Anaheim Ducks Learn to Play program in Orange County, is designed for new hockey players with little or no hockey experience. Staff from The Rinks, an affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks and San Diego Gulls, as well as coaches from local rinks and host venues, will review the basics of skating as well as fundamentals of hockey such as shooting, passing and stickhandling. Learn to Play programs are designed for players under the age of 12 include all necessary equipment, at no cost to the participant.

“We are very excited to bring our Learn to Play program to San Diego,” said Ari Segal, Gulls President of Business Operations and Special Assistant to the CEO of the Anaheim Ducks. “Increasing access to hockey, exposing new people – especially young kids – to our sport, and having a positive impact in local communities are not only core organizational values of both the Anaheim Ducks and San Diego Gulls, but also critical aspects of our strategic plan to grow the sport regionally.  We are thrilled to partner with Poway Ice Arena, Carlsbad Icetown, and other local rinks to enable hundreds of San Diego county kids to try the sport of ice hockey at no cost whatsoever.”

Participants in the San Diego Gulls Learn to Play program will be provided with an equipment bag, helmet, shin guards, hockey pants, elbow pads, shoulder pads, gloves and a jersey to use for the four week session in order to be fully protected on the ice. The use of full hockey equipment provides protection and allows the participant to feel like a real hockey player, wearing all of the necessary hockey gear.

“Our programs have had great success in Orange County and we are excited to bring that proven model to San Diego,” said Art Trottier, The Rinks Vice President. “With three NHL teams and five AHL teams in California, we are committed to continuing to grow the sport at the grass roots level, and there’s no better place to start that than with our youth, the next generation of hockey players and fans.”

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