ARLINGTON, Va. – Around three years old, Washington Capitals alumni Alan May and Paul Mulvey each began playing hockey. During a Hockey School assembly at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in northeast Washington, D.C. on Feb. 11, both attributed their success in the National Hockey League to skills they began developing as children, encouraging area students to pick up the sport.
Hockey School is a free program, designed to be both instructional and interactive, with the goal of exposing students to floor hockey while teaching proper technique.
Along with mascot Slapshot, May and Mulvey directed a floor hockey session in the school’s gymnasium with the entire student population at Thurgood Marshall. The Capitals adopted the school for both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.
The event was held in conjunction with the Capitals celebration of Hockey is for Everyone™ Month, a league wide initiative that offers children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey and leverages the sport as a catalyst to teach essential life skills and the core values of hockey: commitment, perseverance and teamwork.
During the assembly May and Mulvey guided the students through several drills focusing on stickhandling, passing and shooting prior to inviting them to demonstrate what they learned.
Students, who have been practicing hockey as part of their physical education curriculum, participated in a brief scrimmage joined by May and Mulvey as their teammates. With May representing the girls team and Mulvey representing the boys, the game ended in a tie.
Following the clinic, the Capitals donated a set of street hockey equipment to D.C. Public Schools. The Capitals also provided each student with a hockey 101 booklet, a squishy puck and an autograph from May and Mulvey.
“I think the biggest thing when we come out to these is that we leave all of the hockey equipment – the nets, the sticks, the goalie equipment,” said May. “The kids love it and it just adds to their physical education. Hockey is another great sport for them to play.”
The assembly was the eleventh Capitals Hockey School of the 2012-13 academic year. The Capitals host two Hockey School visits each month between September and May and donate street hockey equipment to each participating school.
The 2012-13 season marks the sixth consecutive year the Capitals have conducted their Hockey School program. The Capitals have hosted more than 70 clinics and reached more than 10,000 students in the past four years.
The Capitals adopted Thurgood Marshall Elementary for the 2012-13 school year. In August Capitals center Mike Ribeiro and more than 150 Capitals fans participated in D.C. Public Schools’ annual Beautification Day, preparing the building for the first day of school.
Washington Capitals Charities purchased supplies for the beautification efforts as well as back-to-school items for each child. In addition to participating in the Hockey School program, Thurgood Marshall also is enrolled in the Caps@School program.
“The Capitals have done so many things and given so much to the school,” said principal Rembert Seaward following the assembly. “Today the kids were really jazzed about getting involved around the gym. Some are already saying, ‘I might want to be a hockey player.”
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