LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The Golden Knights will partner with Bauer Hockey this summer for the second annual Empowered Program. It’s an eight-week on-ice class that will introduce the game of hockey to young female players, as well as equipping them from head-to-toe with brand new hockey gear.

“These girls are literally getting their best foot forward starting out in brand new skates, starting out correctly,” said Golden Knights Director of Youth Hockey. Sheri Hudspeth. “Everything from their gloves, shoulder pads, everything is going to fit correctly.”

“I think if you start out with equipment that fits it’s going to build your confidence; if you look good, you play good. They don’t have to go through the experience of going through a garage sale or to get used stuff from your brother or from your dad, you’re getting brand new stuff that’s for them.”

The program will be held at America First Center during June and July, open to girls ages 5-12, and just like the skaters the coaches are all female. The coaching staff will include two U.S. Olympians in Laila Edwards and Caroline Harvey.

“I think it’s important for girls to have big dreams,” said Hudspeth. “With our NHL Learn to Play program they have NHL alumni on the ice, obviously the NHL alumni are males. There are girls in the NHL Learn to Play program, but this is girls only with female ambassadors, so their very first touch point – instead of meeting an NHL player, they’re meeting an Olympian.”

“Just another thing to inspire the youth to play college hockey, you can play for your national team for your country.”

The Golden Knights say female hockey participation has increased 572% since the team’s arrival, but they also admit they’re just scratching the surface.

“It’s very important your first day, your first steps are done correctly and hopefully that builds confidence and they make friends. There are 30 girls so in the locker room, off the ice, on the ice, hopefully they make friends, have fun and they want to come back and stay in the game. That’s where I think we’re going to see the long-term growth these girls starting at five-years-old and going through now to a national bound team.”


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