I am a senior Mass Communications major at the University of South Florida. I had to profile a non profit organization for my TV News class. At first, I was going to profile another group in Tampa but I stumbled upon the non-profit organization, Xtra-ice, on Facebook.
I started reading up on Xtra-ice and knew this was an organization I wanted to learn more about. Xtra-ice just opened a new ice rink in Tampa where they offer low cost and often free ice hockey clinics for all ages and playing levels. Hockey is expensive in Florida and the fact that the Tampa Bay community has the opportunity to play the sport at a lower price is great.
When I visited the rink, I met with co-founder and former Tampa Bay Lightning center John Tucker. Tucker told me that he opened the rink last yea, along with other hockey players, to help the growth of hockey in Tampa Bay.
According to Tucker, Xtra-ice is offering a learn hockey for free program starting on April 6th. Xtra-ice provides all of the equipment so interested players don't have to shell out a bunch of money to try the sport out. This is such a good idea in a struggling economy. Not many sports do this.
Tucker and other former NHL'ers work closely with players to develop skills. Another bonus is that all of Xtra-ice's training programs have been designed by players with over 30 years of combined pro experience.