Detroit Red Wings Empowering City Youth with Learn. Play. Score.

Rooted in a commitment to building confidence and character, promoting positive values, and imparting enduring life skills, thousands of youth across the city of Detroit will have the unique opportunity to participate in the Detroit Red Wings pioneering Learn, Play, Score program – an interactive extension of hockey’s Declaration of Principles. This program is funded through an initial $1 million investment in partnership with the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Red Wings Foundation and the NHL/NHLPA Industry Growth Fund to grow and expand access to the game of hockey across the city of Detroit. 

Through community partnerships with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Parks & Recreation Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), EverFi and the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University, over 30,000 youth in the city of Detroit will experience the sport of hockey through a distinctive array of events and engagements over the next two years. The Red Wings are working with several metro Detroit and national organizations to coordinate on the exclusive programming, curriculum and operation of the program. 

“This is all about empowering the youth in our city. Hockey is more than just a sport. It is about teamwork, dedication, maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit. We are committed to being a leader in finding innovative ways to connect younger generations to hockey in the community, and the Detroit Red Wings Learn, Play, Score program will provide that very opportunity,” said Christopher Ilitch, President & CEO, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., and Governor, President and CEO, Detroit Red Wings. “It all starts with the kids of this city – the next generation – and we’re looking forward to an exciting two years as the program takes shape and offers them the dynamic new experiences they deserve.” 

“We are thrilled that the Ilitch Organization and Detroit Red Wings are engaging the city of Detroit to grow and make hockey more welcoming for everyone in the area,” said Kim Davis NHL EVP, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs. “It is critically important to give back to cities like Detroit to make sure we are collaborating with them to develop opportunities for those who need it most.” 

“Along with the NHL and the Red Wings, we’re extremely proud to be supporting the formation of the Detroit Red Wings Learn, Play, Score program,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director. “Exposing children to the game of hockey, both on and off the ice, is something that the Players and the NHLPA have long valued and this project is a perfect example of the positive impact that the Industry Growth Fund is having across the league.” 

Detroit Red Wings Learn, Play, Score will engage 79 DPSCD elementary and middle schools, 12 Detroit Parks & Recreation “Fun Centers” and four Boys & Girls clubs across the city of Detroit in the next year. Ice rinks within the newly-formed Detroit Hockey Rink Collaborative (DHRC), including East Side Hockey Ice Arena, Jack Adams Memorial Arena and the outdoor rink at Clark Park – will each offer affordable Learn to Skate and Little Wings Learn to Play programs. 

The initiative will initially consist of five platforms within non-traditional and traditional hockey. 

Non-traditional hockey platforms include: 

  • Street Hockey in the D with Detroit Parks & Recreation and Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • After School League (Detroit Parks & Recreation)
  • Summer Fun Center Sessions (Detroit Parks & Recreation)
  • School Edition (Physical Education Curriculum Integration -Detroit Public Schools Community District)
  • Hockey in the Classroom with Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Future Goals™ – Hockey Scholar and STEM Day at Little Caesars Arena presented by Chevrolet
  • Esports & Hockey with Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan 

Traditional hockey platforms include: 

Detroit Hockey Rink Collaborative and On-Ice Hockey Pathway Scholarships with Clark Park, East Side Hockey Ice Arena and Jack Adams Memorial Arena

Open Skate Sessions at Little Caesars Arena
To ensure each program element meets and exceeds goals, the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University, as well as Oakland University and the University of Michigan will provide independent data reporting and analysis support. 

To learn more about Detroit Red Wings Learn, Play, Score, visit www.DetroitRedWings.com/learnplayscore. 

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