TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Hockey is an expensive sport. Parents have to buy hundreds of dollars in equipment as well as spend more money to get their child on the ice.
However, the Toledo Ice Crew Initiative hopes to help eliminate that barrier.
The initiative is proving popular. All 120 spots are now full
Everything from the skates to the jersey and stick is free. All of the gear is provided, and the children can keep the socks, stick and jersey at the end.
"The good thing for us is that there is a lot of kids like I said, within the city limits that normally don't have, aren't aware that hockey is an opportunity," said league director Mike Mankowski.
The program is sponsored by ProMedica, along with the Toledo Walleye and USA Hockey.
Leaders work with leaders from Toledo Public Schools to get some of the students involved. All of the coaches are volunteers and kids of all skill levels are welcome.
They will have a youth league and a learn to play program.
"Help them get some exercise and also create some lifelong friendships and how to, the life lessons that team sports teach will go with them through the rest of their lives," Mankowski said.
Last year, they tried out the program and because of the overwhelming response, they decided to expand this year.
"We already had to create a second session so that we can bring in more kids which is a great problem to have," said Mankowski.
They are cutting off the program at 120 kids. The program starts December 16th, and goes through March, 16 different one hour sessions on the ice.
The last session is at the Huntington Center, giving these kids a chance to play at the same place as the Toledo Walleye.
This is the first full year for the program.