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Coyotes to fund hockey curriculum for PE classes at Arizona public schools

Arizona Coyotes goalie Adin Hill, left, is congratulated by teammates after the Coyotes defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-3 in an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. Hill replaced starting goalie Antti Raanta in the third period. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

In association with the NHL, the NHLPA and the League’s Industry Growth Fund, the Arizona Coyotes will fund street hockey curriculum for public schools throughout Arizona’s Pima and Maricopa counties.

During the 2018-19 season alone, the Coyotes organization will reach an estimated 200,000 students from kindergarten to eighth grade by teaching them the ins and outs of the sport.

Over the next three years, the Coyotes will expand their program to physical education classes throughout the state in hopes of developing youth interest in the sport and promoting physical activity in public schools.

“We want to get sticks and pucks in kids’ hands and really help with the P.E. curriculum,” Coyotes President and CEO Ahron Cohen KTAR News 92.3 FM. “So kids are playing hockey from an early age and being exposed to our great game.”

According to a press release by the Coyotes organization, each school will receive $1,500 worth of sticks, nets, balls, pinnies and curriculum booklets imprinted with the team’s logos and branding. The Coyotes plan to reach upward of 50,000 students across an estimated 700 schools upon completion of multi-year initiative.

In the release, Ahron Cohen, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Coyotes, discussed his team’s initiative and expectations for the program heading into the future.

“This program will allow us to get more sticks into the hands of kids and help educate them about our great game and promote youth health and wellness. We are grateful for the incredible support that we have received from all the Valley school districts and look forward to a great partnership in the future.”

This initiative coincides with the rapidly-growing youth movement toward hockey taking place in the Valley over recent years. According to an Associated Press article published on Aug. 23, Arizona’s registration rates for youth hockey have grown as much as 109 percent over the last five years, making it the fastest growing state.

Hockey wouldn’t traditionally be associated with what’s notoriously known as the nation’s hottest state, but interest in the sport has rapdily increased since the Coyotes came to the Grand Canyon state in 1996.

KTAR 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report

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