Watertown Youth Hockey will run Learn to Skate and Learn to Play programs for youngsters just getting on the ice and those looking to get into the sport.
Both programs begin in November and take place at John A. Ryan Arena, 1 Paramount Place, Watertown.
Watertown Youth Hockey President Jason Tourville said the beginners classes are key to building the hockey program in town. After numbers dipped several years ago, the program is on the rise in recent years.
“We are really excited. My son, when he did Learn to Skate, Learn to Play, when he did that there were a lot of kids but by the time they got to playing travel hockey, we had one team with about six kids from Watertown on it,” Tourville said. “This year, we have three teams with 23 or 24 kids from Watertown, all playing. What that means is we are getting really close to being more sustainable.”
This year, the Learn to Skate and learn to play programs are being run by Warrior Hockey Group.
“We are really lucky that we have this group, the group that runs all the hockey programs at Warrior Rink in Allston-Brighton where the Bruins train, they run all those programs,” Tourville said.
The 16-Week Learn to Skate Program meets on 16 Sundays beginning in November and ending in early March. Session Dates: Nov. 13 through March 19. (No sessions on 11/27, 12/25 or 1/1). The 40 minute per week lessons are designed for children 4 years of age and up. Parents of children under 4 can contact Watertown Youth Hockey to discuss the eligibility of their child. Participants must have skates and a helmet. The cost is $200 for 16 weeks, or $125 for eight weeks.
The Learn to Play program runs 16 weeks on Saturdays from Nov. 12 through March 18 (No sessions on 11/26, 12/24, or 12/31). It is recommended for children that are 4 to 12 years of age. Participants must have skates, a helmet, and a full set of pads. The program costs $500.
This year the program has scholarships for four players, courtesy of the Watertown Community Foundation, Tourville said. Those interested can contact Watertown Youth Hockey.
The cost of equipment can also add up, but there are some opportunities to save, Tourville said. Watertown Youth Hockey gets equipment donations that players can access. There are other options, such as the Boston Bruins Learn to Play program in which the fee covers both the classes and a full set of equipment.
Tourville said he hopes this year’s new skaters become a part of the Watertown Youth Hockey community.
“It’s a ton of fun. I think the biggest upside of it, even if you don’t see yourself playing hockey down the road, although we hope you do, is the community you get here,” he said. “Everyone becomes close knit because they are at the rink so much.”
Find out more about the the Learn to Skate and Learn to Play programs by clicking here.