New competitive youth hockey team highlights grassroots efforts to grow the sport of hockey in Nashville
Monday, 01.11.2010 / 10:11 AM / News
By Press Release - Nashville Predators
Nashville, Tenn. (January 11, 2010) – The Nashville Predators and the newly-formed Greater Nashville Minor Hockey Association (GNMHA have announced the GNMHA will play under the name Nashville Jr. Predators and will wear the team logo and colors – marking the first time a minor hockey league from Nashville will be associated with a National Hockey League team. This initiative marks the first time area rinks have joined forces for a minor hockey association.
The GNMHA is a newly formed non-profit organization for 8-10 year olds to play at the AA level. This association is a joint effort with Centennial Sportsplex (Nashville) and A-Game Sportsplex (Franklin) to bring together a core group of young local hockey players to play at area ice rinks.
“We're excited to have the Nashville Predators as part of our organization,” GNMHA spokesperson Mike Morgan said. “Having an affiliation with our local NHL Club is the best way we can see to achieve our goals of establishing a strong foundation for youth hockey in the Middle Tennessee area while promoting the development of our players, both on and off of the ice”
“The inception of a Junior Predators team here in Nashville is a wonderful development for our organization and the city of Nashville,” Nashville Predators President of Business Operations, Ed Lang said. “We are confident these young men will carry on the Predators brand by working hard, playing hard and providing outrageous community support. We believe that using the sport of hockey will help educate young people to succeed in the game of life.”
When the team first came to Nashville in 1998, there were a few hundred kids playing hockey. Today there are more than a thousand kids playing – with significant growth in all age categories from beginner to adult and everywhere in between. Since their inception, the Nashville Predators have been actively involved in growing the sport of hockey in Middle Tennessee. Youth and Amateur Hockey initiatives include the Get Out And Learn! program, which has reached more than 1,000 new hockey players under the age of nine; the hosting of high school hockey games on Preds Saturday home games in addition to the scholastic state championship Preds Cup; and sponsoring jerseys with Preds shoulder logos for area house leagues. This partnership is just the next step for the development of hockey in Nashville.
The GNMHA and the Nashville Jr. Predators offer youth hockey players in the Middle Tennessee area the opportunity to play Tier I and II ice hockey while building character and developing discipline, athleticism and integrity. Our goal is to keep these tenets in focus while enjoying the great game of hockey. For more information on the Nashville Jr. Predators, please visit www.nashvillejrpredators.com.