Kids learn to play hockey for free, skates included

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Growing the game of hockey, 2 years ago the Sylvania Youth Hockey Club created the Toledo Ice Crew Initiative. The program offers skates, ice-time and coaches completely free.

Hockey can be an expensive sport, but the initiative is set out to make the game more accessible across the community. Mike Mankowski, hockey director at the Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania says, "It’s an opportunity to really learn the skills, hockey is so different than any other sport, you have to learn how to skate before you can play the game."

Learn to Play sessions will mostly take place at Ottawa Park’s outdoor ice rink, the first skate starts this weekend. All equipment is provided at no cost, “the kids get the gear from head to toe, we collect the equipment at the end of the year, but they keep the jersey, hockey socks and stick" says Mankowski.

The program was designed for under-served kids within the city of Toledo and interest has grown over the years. Most sessions are currently wait-list only, but still sign up, a few spots might open. Or it’s a great way to get your name in for next year.

Once kids complete a season of Learn to Play Hockey, they have the opportunity to move up and participate in organized games the following year.

For more information head to Toledo Ice Crew Initiative