Amanda Kessel, star of the United States women’s national team, is working with the New York Rangers to grow girls’ hockey in the tri-state area. Kessel is the official ambassador of the Rangers’ new Junior Rangers Girls Hockey program, which will feature an all-girls league, opportunities for girls to try hockey for free, a tournament team, a hockey festival, and more.
The program was announced yesterday before Kessel joined newly-signed Artemi Panarin before the media holding a Rangers jersey of her own.
#NYR pic.twitter.com/KxLnNtpLqC— Rick Carpiniello (@RickCarpiniello) July 2, 2019
“Having played the game at the highest level, it’s a great privilege for me to be able to help girls gain more access to hockey,” Kessel shared in a team release, “To be able to grow the girls’ game alongside the New York Rangers is a tremendous opportunity and honor. I’m excited to lend my voice and skills to get more girls involved in the sport.”
The goal of this new initiative is to make an impact for local girls hockey. Statistically, many girls in America disengage from hockey between the ages of 11 and 14 because of a lack of girls hockey programs. Up until that age range, many girls grow up playing with and against boys.
Our new Youth Hockey Ambassador and @USAHockey Olympic Gold Medalist @AmandaKessel28 helping launch the new @JuniorRangers Girls Hockey initiatives today on @fox5ny.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 2, 2019
Learn more https://t.co/PjibThWe3U pic.twitter.com/ecNCvh0Hl6
The Rangers and Kessel are hoping this program will keep girls in the tri-state area engaged in youth hockey. There are 13 local rinks participating in the recreational league; three of which are located in the Hudson Valley and three of which are located on Long Island. The league is for girls who are 14 and under. Registration for the season, which includes 10 games and 10 skills sessions, costs $395.
Girls 11-14 will have opportunities to try hockey for free on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 in 13 different events tied to the program. Girls who attend will receive a free stick they can take home, free rental skates and loaner equipment, and an opportunity to interact with and be instructed by women’s hockey players.
Parents who are interested in the program can learn more about it and register to have their daughters tryout for the Junior Rangers Peewee team (ages 11-12) here.
Kessel, who up until recently played professional hockey in nearby Newark, New Jersey for the Metropolitan Riveters, has won two Olympic medals, four medals at the Women’s World Championship, and three national titles at the University of Minnesota. She is widely considered to be one of the best hockey players in the world.