Former Capitals' winger Alan May recently visited Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex. He came out to see the rink's Learn to Play program, and to provide some on-ice tips to young hockey players.
Pete Low, a rink board member and Caps' liaison to the rink, explained May's role in the program. "Alan May's appearance and instructing is part of the Washington Capitals' Learn To Play initiative along with the Capitals' Ambassador program where Capitals' Alums go out into the community and help to grow the game of hockey."
While at the rink, May had a chance to meet some players involved in the Learn to Play program and Youth Rec League. Both programs help young children get their start in ice hockey. Chad Ziegler, HISC Program Director, said May was excited by the level of organization and number of kids participating in rink programs.
"Our program has shown tremendous growth and continues to grow rapidly," Ziegler mentioned. "Partnering with the Capitals allows kids to enter our Learn to Play program and receive brand new equipment at no extra cost. Buying all new hockey equipment can be cost prohibitive for many families."
May is no stranger to hard work and dedication. He was the first player from the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) to make it to the National Hockey League. He is able to share motivational tips that inspire a new generation of hockey players.
"The Washington Capitals have been very good to partner with, and have been extremely supportive in helping us grow the game of hockey in our area," Low stated. "With the Learn To Play initiative for 4-8 year olds that are given free equipment and now sending great Caps Alums like Alan May to help instruct and motivate these young players, it's very exciting."
If you would like to get your child involved in playing hockey, contact Chad Ziegler. He can provide more information about various rink programs and schedules to facilitate the process. "We have a few different groups, based on age and skill level," he said. "We have several cost effective programs and leagues that range from beginners to more advanced skating and games."