SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

August 5, 2013

New initiatives key for Salem/Swampscott Youth Hockey program

In an effort to better themselves in any way possible, the Salem/Swampscott BYouth Hockey League has decided that making a few key changes will be better for the players — and the league itself.

The league’s Board of Directors recently approved several changes for the upcoming year. The purpose is to lay a new foundation for the program and find ways to make it more affordable for all youngsters to skate for the Blades.

The Board also wants to attract older players by having a program suited for their needs, and came up with a way to welcome club players back to their town program on a part time basis.

They’ve also started dry land training for all full-time Blades players two nights a week at the Clark Elementary School in Swampscott.

“Our two biggest changes are reinstituting a weekly Bingo event to help defray costs, and bringing club players who want additional ice time into our program,” said board member Gerrit Bradley of Swampscott, the league’s marketing and communications chair.

“We haven’t had Bingo for 4-5 years, and it’s a great way to raise funds (the first such event will be held next Monday, Aug. 12). We also want to get club players back in the fold. We’re making an effort to create a friendly atmosphere, bring more players back to the league and get newer members involved.”

Club hockey players can participate in the alternative player program for a fee of $700 (pro-rated for those joining later). It includes two practices per week and a minimum of 10 games during the season. Scheduling will be worked out by the team’s head coach, the player and his parents. Additional games are included at the discretion of the coach, and participating in 10 games earns a place on the playoff roster.

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