Arena ensures hockey is top of mind in Summerlin

There he was, wearing a traditional hockey uniform while hugging his ice skates with one hand and holding on to his dad’s hand with the other. Dad also held the little guy’s hockey stick as they entered City National Arena in Downtown Summerlin.

“How old are you?” I asked. “He’s going on 4,” his dad replied proudly, “and he loves to ice skate.”

Inside the arena, on one of the twin hockey-size rinks, a pick-up game was in progress involving two teams of teenagers. We watched as they played with great physical determination and passion.

Equally important, other youngsters sat in the stands. Some cheered for their favorites. Others sat in awe as they watched a sport many had only seen on television.

Those are just some of the rewards that Bill Foley, majority owner of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, can enjoy whenever he surveys daily activity at the arena. The community-minded Foley built the magnificent skating edifice to serve as both a practice facility for his team and a recreation center.

The man who brought the first major league sports franchise to Las Vegas also derives satisfaction from knowing that formal teams of youths are playing hockey on one of the rinks.

Then there are the Lil’ Knights. When the 146,000-square-foot arena opened to the public Sept. 18, it initiated its Lil’ Knights Cross-Ice program. The program has since opened a new world for tykes and teens who had been unaccustomed to such activities as hockey, figure skating and just plain ice skating for fun.

“Basically, the program is open to kids from 5-13, but in some cases we’ll take older kids and even kids who are 3 or 4, provided that they can skate,” said Robbert McDonald, hockey director and assistant manager of City National Arena.

“The program is really an entry-level class that teaches kids how to play the game of hockey,” he went on. “We break out into teams that work on fundamentals, but we don’t play competitive games as such.”

The program emphasizes the four basic features of hockey. “Those are skating, stick-handling, passing and shooting, in addition to just having a lot of fun,” McDonald said.

Lil’ Knights is a six-week program consisting of one-hour sessions every Wednesday. The third six-week program since the arena opened was scheduled to begin Jan. 3 and the fourth is set to begin Feb. 21. The inaugural session included seven youngsters and the second session, which concluded just before Christmas, had 19.

“It has become very popular in recent weeks, and we plan to continue the program throughout the year,” McDonald said. He added that classes are taught by experienced instructors.

The six-week session costs $135.

“Right now we have a good deal going because the Golden Knights have a promotion under which they will fund a portion of the tuition,” McDonald said.

Lil’ Knights is part of a national program supported by professional hockey. In accordance with guidelines for USA Hockey’s ADM, “youth hockey is more than a game. It develops skills on the ice that build a foundation for a lifetime.”

Anyone interested in signing up for Lil’ Knights can reach McDonald at the arena or by calling 702-998-1059.

Herb Jaffe was an op-ed columnist and investigative reporter for most of his 39 years at the Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey. His most recent novel, “Double Play,” is available. Contact him at hjaffe@cox.net.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Herb Jaffe Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like