Coyotes helping to strengthen youth hockey in Flagstaff
Going back about seven or eight years ago, the Arizona Coyotes started making conscious efforts to strengthen their connection with youth hockey associations across the state.
It started with invitations to a luncheon on the outdoor mezzanine of what was then Jobing.com Arena. The leaders of every association who attended the luncheon were also provided tickets to the Coyotes game that evening. The senior leadership, as well as some Coyotes alumni, including ex-goaltender Sean Burke, spoke to us about their desire to increase their involvement with Arizona youth hockey associations. It led to a thriving Little Howlers program.
Today, the Coyotes create the registration page for Little Howlers and run it through their website, provide participants with an entire starter set of hockey gear, provide advertising materials, provide jerseys, attend the events, bring Howler to the events, and sometimes even take over physical education classes in local schools to promote the event.
Reaching out to us and other associations across the state has greatly strengthened the bond between the Coyotes and the state of Arizona. We are very thankful for everything the organization has done for us, especially Matt Shott, director of amateur hockey development for the Coyotes.
It has helped the Flagstaff Youth Hockey Association provide our community with an amazing program designed to introduce kids to hockey in an exciting way. Imagine being a kid and showing up to try hockey for the first time and there are gigantic Arizona Coyotes blow-up structures in the parking lot, a sweet Coyotes truck parked out front, numerous staff members wearing Coyotes swag, and Howler running around all over the place.
Pretty exciting, right?
It is, and as a result, the development of youth hockey in Arizona is thriving and will continue to do so, especially if young athletes continue to have increased access to the local team they love, the Arizona Coyotes.
— Kevin Tye
(Oct. 21, 2019)