Every year, The USA Hockey Foundation donates funds back to the game at the local level. The Affiliate Block Grant is used as a way for local USA Hockey organizations to help fund programs in their area.
Steve Henley from the Raleigh (N.C.) Youth Hockey Association recently started a goalie clinic held every other Tuesday which has been funded by the Affiliate Block Grant. “Over the course of the last couple of years, we’ve noticed a fair drop of the number of kids interested in playing in goal at the squirt and U8 levels,” said Henley of how the idea came about.
In the short time the free sessions have been offered, the numbers of players has risen from five to 22. “We provide sets of gear. This is an opportunity for kids to try goalie on a Tuesday night, and then to go back with their U8 team and work on developing as skaters,” said Henley.
He acknowledges that the program likely wouldn’t have happened had it not been for the Block Grant. “Ice cost itself is very difficult to absorb when you’re dealing with small organizations. If you fund it internally, it increases the costs for every player. We would not have been able to do that,” Henley said.
Based on how the program has been received, and the number of inquiries coming in, Henley hopes the program will become a weekly event.
Tag(s): Grant Stories