TAMPA, Fla. - As the Tampa Bay Lightning advance in the playoffs, the team is cultivating the next generation of hockey fans at home.
As a former player and current Lightning ambassador, Brian Bradley knows the value of community investment.
"I mean you can see everyone getting into it now that we're in the second round," Bradley explained. "You can just feel the atmosphere in town with the flags going around."
Using that excitement, "Lightning Made Hockey," the community outreach arm of the team, set up a ball hockey court at Rowlett Park this week.
"Some of these communities like we're at today here at Rowlett, you know they're communities that were going to shut down," said Bradley. "We restored a lot of things, spent some money and you know it's all Mr. (Jeff) Vinik's time and effort."
The ball hockey court allows the community kids to get the feel and the flow of the game without the need for ice.
"Now you have some of these ball hockey courts where the kids get to go out and have some fun," stated Bradley. "The kids are involved and you know they're just out here having a great time."
That’s exactly the goal the Lightning are shooting for with the ball hockey court- for kids to have a good time.
"I'm sure they don't care if we win or lose, they really just love the Lightning," added Bradley. "The most favorite player of all, it's not Vasilevskiy, Hedman, or Kucherov or Stamkos, it's Thunderbug. That's what it's all about for the kids."
These outreach efforts help to encourage activity and sportsmanship playing the game of hockey. The ultimate goal is to grow that fascination for the sport into a desire to play and stay active in the sport.
LINK: To learn more about "Lightning Made Hockey," visit https://www.lightningmadehockey.com/about-us
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