Florida's Plan For Hockey Education

''Panthers University - A unique educational hockey experience."

No, this is not the motto of another posh, upper-class school designed to bankrupt its students for life. In fact, Panthers University was created for the frugal and uneducated. It is a hockey program run by the Florida Panthers in Miami.

For a small fee, any dedicated fan of the Florida Panthers - one of the National Hockey League's most recent expansion teams - can enroll in a series of three fast-paced classes to give novice hockey fans a chance to learn more about the game's history, strategies, rules, statistics, and equipment.

With the migration of NHL teams to such warm climates as Anaheim and San Jose, Calif.; Dallas; Phoenix; and Miami, organizations like the Florida Panthers are finding innovative ways to educate fans and encourage kids to play hockey.

Unlike such northern cities as Boston and Detroit, which already enjoy burgeoning youth hockey programs and a tradition of deep and lasting fan support, warmer cities are forced to start from scratch.

In addition to Panthers University, the Florida Panthers also hold a one-week ice hockey camp in August to provide aspiring, young hockey players an opportunity to sharpen their skills and learn from a coaching staff that includes Panthers coaches and players.

Along with the NIKE/NHL Street program, the Panthers are also in the process of establishing street hockey programs at local Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA's, community centers, and schools throughout Florida.

On the West Coast, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks have been equally innovative.

Through a program called Disney GOALS, they are implementing a two-pronged strategy of encouraging hockey among youths and fighting inner-city violence.

"They take underprivileged youths throughout Anaheim off the streets and try to create sportsmanship and teamwork and promote hockey at the same time," says Tory Whittingham, manager of civic affairs and game operations for the Mighty Ducks.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK