Westerville elementary physical education teachers stand near the Columbus Blue Jackets cannon, which blasts in celebration each time the team scores.
This past June in the Westerville community, the Thomas James Knox Rink, located at Alum Creek Park South (535 Park Meadow Drive) opened to the public. To continue bringing attention to the sport of street hockey, Westerville Parks and Recreation and Westerville City Schools have teamed with the Columbus Blue Jackets (CBJ) to provide a multitude of hockey-related equipment and professional development opportunities directly to all elementary physical education teachers, free-of-charge. On Tuesday, November 5, all Westerville City Schools elementary physical education teachers were afforded the opportunity to acquire training from CBJ personnel at Nationwide Arena in the sport of street hockey, as well as receive equipment worth a total of $42,000.
Through this initiative, each Westerville elementary school receives $3,000 in free street hockey equipment consisting of:
- 60 youth and adult sticks
- 60 specialized balls (hockey pucks)
- Two goals
- 35 reversible Blue Jacket scrimmage vests
- Various student incentives for those achieving established physical fitness goals
- Each fifth-grade student receiving their own street hockey stick and ball
In addition, a complimentary field trip for fifth-grade students at each school will be paid in full by CBJ to one of the Chiller Ice Rinks. The field trip includes free skate lessons, as well as exposure to STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics) topics such as the science behind the Zamboni.
As a member of the Westerville Parks and Recreation Foundation Board, Dr. Scott Ebbrecht, Director of Assessment and Alternative Education Services with Westerville City Schools, learned of this tremendous opportunity through Randy Auler, Director of Westerville Parks. Dr. Ebbrecht expressed, “Our district is extremely grateful to the National Hockey League and the Columbus Blue Jackets for exposing our students to a competitive sport such as hockey, training our staff, donating all materials, and providing all fifth graders in Westerville with free equipment to take home, keep, and use.”
For more information about this initiative, titled Blue Jackets Power Play Challenge, please visit https://www.nhl.com/bluejackets/community/power-play-challenge.