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Penguins Partnering To Distribute Gear To Young Players

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Families in the general Pittsburgh area who have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and who have young hockey players in their household will be able to apply to receive equipment through a partnership involving the Penguins.

The Equipment Relief Program aims to distribute about $20,000 worth of gear to about 100 children in the Pittsburgh region.

Born of the pandemic that has affected the country for more than a year, the giveaway is a partnership among the Penguins, the Penguins Foundation, the NHL, the NHL Players Association and DICK’S Sporting Goods.

It’s not the first time young players in the area have benefited from the generosity of the team. Center and team captain Sidney Crosby for many years has been the name behind a learn-to-play program for youngsters that includes equipment and, at times, a chance to skate with Crosby.

Here is Wednesday’s news release from the Penguins:

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Penguins Foundation, in partnership with the NHL, NHLPA and DICK’S Sporting Goods, are offering hockey equipment to select families throughout Greater Pittsburgh that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 through an Equipment Relief Program.

Approximately 100 children across our region are set to receive equipment from this program with approximately $20,000 worth of equipment to be given out by the Penguins.

Select local families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, with players ages 12 and under will be offered up to four pieces of equipment of their choice (shin guards, hockey pants, skates, shoulder pads, elbow pads, helmet or gloves). Equipment is limited to CCM sizes youth and junior only.

To apply for the program, visit here. Applicants will receive more information from the Pittsburgh Penguins with next steps, if your application has been approved.

The NHL’s Learn to Play (LTP) and Hockey Equipment and Membership Relief Program (HEMRP) have joined forces to donate upwards of $1 million in hockey equipment and memberships to help get kids back on the ice and support families within the hockey community across the United States who are facing financial challenges due to the ongoing pandemic.

The Hockey Equipment and Membership Relief Program includes a donation of 3,500 sets of equipment, which will be distributed to League’s U.S. Clubs and Learn to Play’s affiliates, while the memberships will be administered and distributed through USA Hockey.

Since the NHL’s Learn to Play program’s inaugural 2016-17 season, over 100,000 children have participated league wide. Along with an increase in physical fitness, children who participated in the program saw their academic testing skills increase by up to 40% and reported stronger social connections, self-esteem and aptitude for celebrating diversity.

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Shelly is the newest columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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