Capitals introduce kids to hockey with Breaking the Ice initiative

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The Washington Capitals launched a new program aimed at introducing hockey to first-time players at home, featuring instruction videos led by a Black-owned nonprofit hockey group.

Through “Breaking the Ice,” conducted in partnership with the NHL, National Hockey League Players’ Association and Franklin Sports, the Capitals provide a set of low-cost street hockey equipment to program registrants ages 14 and under.

The set contains two straight-blade sticks, one ball and a net. Participants will have access to instructional videos on CapsYouthHockey.com by coaches from Dc Mamba, a Washington-area non-profit organization dedicated to introducing street and ice hockey to youth in the region.

The program costs $20 and includes the set of equipment being shipped to participants’ homes. Those interested in joining the program can register Thursday afternoon at http://capsyouthhockey.com/breakingtheice.

“The Washington Capitals are excited to launch this new program as part of our commitment to provide access to the sport of hockey to everyone in our market,” Peter Robinson, the Capitals director of youth hockey development, said. “The partnership with Dc Mamba is instrumental to our mission and the instructional videos bring a new element to learning hockey at home in this new virtual world. Our goal is to provide everyone that wants an opportunity to play hockey the chance to play, and this program provides a low-cost entry point without having to leave the house.”

The video instructors are Dc Mamba coaches and co-founders Rahman-Rahim “Coach Rock” Ba’th, Shemar Barnes and James Jackson, who have coached in the past at the Tucker Road Ice Rink in Fort Washington, Maryland.

“The Dc Mamba dream is to change the face of hockey, to encompass all colors and our partnership alongside the Capitals shows that dream is closer to reality,” Ba’th said. “Together, we are excited to see our mission come to life. Hockey has never been taught on camera the ‘Dc Mamba Way,’ and through the ‘Breaking the Ice’ initiative, together with the Capitals, we will help equip and introduce a future generation to hockey while also breaking barriers in the game we love.”

The Capitals are the third NHL team to launch a “Breaking the Ice” program.

The Chicago Blackhawks’ version provides a set of street hockey equipment and access to instructional videos by former NHL player Jamal Mayers and U.S. Women’s National Team captain Kendall Coyne-Schofield.

The New York Rangers also provide participants ages 6-14 with a street hockey set and the opportunity to learn the basics of the game with the help and support of Rangers alumni and access to five weeks of virtual hockey instruction.

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