When Jen Johnson and her family moved to the area a few years ago, she could barely skate in a circle around the ice rink and considered hockey to be violent. But they gave the sport a tentative shot, and before long she was on the rink right next to her kids.
“We’re a hockey family now,” Johnson said. Everyone — including the three kids, ages 4, 10 and 13 — plays on a team.
Hockey can be intimidating for newbies, so Johnson and her husband, Erik, are coordinating and coaching a learn-to-play class for kids ages 5 to 9. The four one-hour classes are ideal for those who are new to hockey or want to see if they like it. All of the gear is provided, and even kids with no ice skating experience can participate.
“By the end of the first session, everyone will be skating,” Johnson said.
Using a variety of games and help from area hockey coaches and players, the class teaches basic skills with an emphasis on fun and safety.
“The intent is to keep kids in the sport,” Johnson said.
Kids who find they enjoy hockey may join a team for this year’s hockey season, which begins in early November.
Youth hockey has seen a growth in interest and participation in recent years. Part of the draw for her family, Johnson said, was the welcoming environment. Not only have her kids found great friends in their teammates, but they’ve gotten close to other families on the team — both figuratively and literally, Johnson joked, as the cold rinks invite people to sit closer than they might otherwise.
“It was a nice place for a newcomer like me,” Johnson said. “They’re very supportive of new players.”
If you go
WHAT: Learn to Play Hockey Class
WHEN: begins 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and continues for the following three weeks
WHERE: LC Ice Arena at 1521 Sixth Ave. N. in Lewiston
COST: $40/child, sibling discounts are available. More information and registration is available by email, LCYouthHockey@gmail.com or call (509) 334-6219.
Online: Check www.inland360.com for more info on this and other upcoming workshops and classes including:
Learn to Skate
This five-session beginner-level class teaches skating basics and includes three free skate passes. The class is $75/person and begins Nov. 1. More information is available at LC Ice Arena, (208) 798-7845 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watercolor Workshop for Beginners
Bobby Kelly teaches watercolor basics at a six-hour workshop Oct. 17 at the Latah County Fairgrounds. The class is $10 and includes supplies. Registration forms are available at Moscow City Hall Arts Commission Office or online at www.palousewatercolorsocius.com.