In a June 27 press release, the Arizona Coyotes stated it is proud to support the Arizona Legacy Pride Hockey Association (ALPHA) Pride Growlers with the goal to show that hockey is for everyone and with intent to create inclusive spaces for individuals to explore the sport. The adult learn-to-play program for the LGBTQ+ community is designed to a provide safe and inclusive environment for the community and its allies to learn the basics of skating, stick-handling, shooting and game play.
ALPHA is a non-profit group that strives to be culturally diverse and representative of Arizona, according to the press release. This includes initiatives like recruiting transgender people, BIPOC and People of Color. Players of all skill levels are encouraged to hit the ice and learn the basics of the game with no experience required. ALPHA provides Pride Growlers’ participants a majority of their gear and skates thanks to the generous donations from hockey fans in the Valley.
“Hockey has grown so much here in the Valley, thanks in large part to the Coyotes, so when we founded ALPHA with intent to create a safe space for those interested in playing hockey, we were so proud to receive their unwavering support,” founder and CEO Matthew Spang-Marshall said in the press release. “It has been such a positive experience for all of us involved to give us an outlet to learn new skills, have some fun and strengthen our LGBTQ+ community here in the Valley, all in a highly inclusive environment.”
Comprised of 10 on-ice sessions every Sunday at the Coyotes Community Ice Center in Mesa, the Coyotes Hockey Development coaching staff guides participants through the practices to enhance their skills and promote teamwork amongst the participants. Guest coaches have included former Coyotes player Tyson Nash and former U.S. Olympian Lyndsey Fry, the press release stated.
“The Arizona Coyotes strive to create an environment that welcomes and appreciates everyone from every walk of life,” Fry, Arizona Coyotes senior director of hockey development business strategy, said in a press release. “Providing support to the local hockey community helps create an inclusive space to allow adults with interest in learning hockey, while also making lifelong friendships and connections.”
Individuals looking to join the Pride Growlers or find more information on other hockey development programs can visit arizonacoyotes.com/play.
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