NYC Women’s Hockey Team Heads to National Hockey Championship

NYC Women’s Hockey Team Heads to National Hockey Championship

Boasting a recent win at the Empire State Games, the Central Park Senior Lady Hawks women’s team is now preparing for the USA National Hockey Championships in Green Bay, WI March 26-30, 2015.

 

The Senior Lady Hawks are a team of college-educated woman new to the working environment of New York City. They have played college hockey at D1 and D3 schools, many of them Ivy. With no league for them to play in after graduation, these hockey players created an all female, competitive environment at Lasker Rink in Central Park, in which over 40 skilled players play organized hockey together.
In February, a select team was chosen to play in the Empire State Games. The Senior Lady Hawks were undefeated, winning 6 straight games and beating all start teams from Western, Central, Hudson Valley and Adirondack, and bringing home the gold medal.
Ice hockey is one of the fastest growing women’s sports in the world, with the number of participants increasing 350 percent in the last 10 years. While there are not as many organized leagues (or as much sponsorship) for women as there are for men, there exist leagues of all levels including the National Women’s Hockey League, Western Women’s Hockey League, Atlantic Women’s Hockey League and various European leagues; as well as university teams, national and Olympic teams, and recreational teams.
The Lady Hawks women’s hockey team has no corporate sponsor and anytime the players travel for their games, they have to pay their way there and back, hotels food and incidentals. The coaches are volunteers and have to do the same.  Many of these young players are just making their way in the work world and trips like this get expensive especially flights. Donations to underwrite their bid at the Nationals are being accepted at supportladyhawks.athleteson.ly.
The Senior Lady Hawks are supported by Central Park Ice Hockey at Lasker Rink in Central Park. Ice is donated,
coaches are volunteers and all expenses are solely up to the players. The Senior Lady Hawks are an off-shoot of the girls Lady Hawks – a program consists of U8, U10, U12 and U14 that are currently NYC’s only all-girl hockey teams.
The senior team heading to the Nationals was created from the Thursday Night Skate where over 40 high level, passionate player’s revel in an all-female environment. As the senior team thrives, the young women volunteer their time to mentor the girls Lady Hawks program, being positive role models for the next generation of female hockey players and potentially growing the Thursday Night Skate program into a more permanent league.
RBC Grant Helps Hockey in Harlem

RBC Grant Helps Hockey in Harlem

Here is a story from USAHockey.com about a great New York City sports program – Ice Hockey In Harlem (IHIH) – that just received a $25,000 Royal Bank of Canada Play Hockey grant. IHIH is a non-profit organization based in Harlem, and for 25 years this program has been helping young kids mature through hockey. 
The organization accepts up to 225 students — boys and girls from the ages of 4 to 17 who live north of 110th street in Harlem. The waiting list is 50 students long, and those accepted (based on a first come, first served basis) get free equipment and participate in skating clinics, scrimmages and educational sessions from October to early April at Central Park’s Lasker Rink.

“Our purpose is to not just get kids out on the ice, teach them about teamwork, but it’s also about the values and the character building that goes along with playing any organized sport,” said IHIH Executive Director John Sanful. “For those of us who grew up watching hockey, playing hockey, there’s a certain passion that we have for it, and we think it’s important to share what we know about a sport that we love and care about so much.”

Congratulations IHIH – what a great grant to receive.

Lasker Rink @ Central Park North

Friday night I was walking north along Fifth Avenue from 96th to get to Lasker Rink. There is a short cut near 106th St. that winds south of the pond; it would have gotten me there faster, but the lack of lights made me think twice and so I hoofed it up to 110th. Although the path inside the park, just shy of 110th St, is well lit, it’s still sparsely populated at 6:00pm and as I walked along I was mindful that I was alone.

Have no fear, that walk was uneventful. It was actually quite lovely. There are not many places in Manhattan where you can walk alone at night and truly enjoy your environment, but his stretch of Central Park is one such spot. It was a mild 50F that night and the street noises were muffled by the trees so the silence of the park was beautiful. As I walked around Harlem Meer I could hear the ducks on the pond, the sound of the hockey pucks slapping against the boards and coach Alan’s voice booming out instructions to the Mites at practice. I could have been in any rural Canadian or American community. That’s what makes hockey at Lasker Rink so great; it’s a suburban pond hockey feel in the midst of a big, busy city.