TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik says the team will spend more than $6 million over the next five years to expand the sport of youth hockey in the region.
Vinik made his announcement Monday with more than 350 kids looking on.
The Lighting will partner with the NHL and the NHLPA player’s union in funding the program. The program is expected to reach more than 100,000 kids in the Tampa Bay region.
The team plans to hand out 100,000 hockey street sticks and balls to Tampa Bay kids as part of a school outreach program to students in grades 3 through 5. It will also offer 10,000 hours of training for players and coaches and use Lightning players, coaches and alumni to help mentor 100 at-risk youths.