PENSACOLA, Fla. (November 17, 2017) – The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning brought their Equip the Thunder program to local schools this past week with the assistance of the Pensacola Junior Ice Flyers, and had help from the Pensacola Ice Flyers at Gulf Breeze Elementary School today.
“This was a great week visiting the schools. I was highly impressed with the students’ interest in playing the game of hockey, and I am excited to make this a yearly experience,” Community Hockey Coordinator for the Lightning, Josh Dreith, commented.
“It was a really fun day getting to hang out with the kids during their PE classes. We got to show them how to hold a hockey stick and how to play the game. The kids really had fun, and that is what it is all about,” said Ice Flyers forward TJ Sarcona.
Equip the Thunder is part of a larger Build the Thunder five-year initiative that the Lightning implemented two years ago to help spread and grow the game of hockey and teach life skills to elementary-aged kids.
“Getting to work with the Lighting organization while teaching kids about hockey was an amazing experience today. It is really unbelievable that they travel to bring the sport of hockey to communities in Florida and also supply the schools and kids with equipment to continue to grow the sport. The kids seemed really excited about the experience, and it was great to be a part of it,” Josh Cousineau, a forward for the Ice Flyers, added.
Ice Flyers forward Phil Bushbacher said, “It is always a joy to get out in the community and to teach our joy for the game to kids. Most of us grew up in northern climates, but we all grew up playing hockey in the street with our friends. It is one of my fondest childhood memories and it is wonderful to share those memories with these kids down here in the Pensacola area.”
The Junior Ice Flyers are hosting their Try Hockey For Free event Saturday, November 18 from 1 – 3 p.m. at the Pensacola Bay Center. It is open to everyone between the ages of four and nine, and is a completely free experience to try ice hockey. No experience is required. Participants are required to bring some sort of helmet (hockey, bike helmet, etc.) and gloves, as these are mandatory. The Pensacola Ice Flyers are providing a complimentary ticket for their game later that day at 7:05p.m. which is Wiener Dog Race Night. Spots are limited, and kids can be registered at http://tryhockeyforfree.com/register.php?e=8021.