Pioneer Valley Youth Hockey has an outstanding "Learn-to-Skate" program. We hold two sessions per year. The first session starts in late September/early October and ends right before Christmas, and the second session starts in January and ends in March. The cost for the each session is $55. The general "Learn-to-Skate" sessions run each Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 11:20 a.m. held at the Fitzpatrick Rink in Holyoke. "Instructional Hockey" portion of the session, also runs from 10:30 a.m. until 11:20 p.m. The rink will be seperated in half by "half boards.". All skaters will need to register with USA Hockey and Mass Hockey. Please note that in order for your child to participate in the "Instructional Hockey" session, they will need full hockey equipment:
- USA Hockey approved helmet with cage or full shield
- Shoulder pads
- Hockey pants
- Hockey gloves
- Elbow pads
- Shin guards
- Neck guard
- Hockey stick
- Supporter and Cup
If you need more information about "Learn-to-Skate", or are willing to volunteer to coach the kids, please send us an e-mail.
Many of our "Learn-to-Skate" kids come back at the end of the year to sign up for our Novice/Mite program. From there, they progress through the ranks as Pioneer Valley Youth Hockey players; most of them all the way through high-school age.
There are some helpful pointers and rules we have established for "Learn-to-Skate". Please keep in mind that the rules are there for the safety of the children.
- Your child must have a USA Hockey approved helmet with a mask.
- We also recommend elbow pads and kneepads. Put these items on under their clothing. It will be more comfortable for them and not so slippery. Many kids have found it most comfortable to wear a pair of winter snow pants which provided them an easier time trying to get up when they fall.
- We recommend your child have some kind of gloves for their hands. The ice is cold!!
- Please stay off the players' benches. This is where the children rest and our staff tries to keep them focused on skating. They may be upset and want to see Mom or Dad. We try to keep them focused and get them skating again. We understand you may want to videotape or take pictures. Please stay in the stands.
- If you are going to purchase skates, keep in mind brand new skates may make your child's feet sore for the first few times on the ice. There are lots of used skates out there up for sale.
- Sharpen your child's skates, especially if they are brand new. Tell the pro shop your child is using them for learn to skate. They won't make them as sharp.
- PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE RINK DURING LEARN-TO-SKATE!
If you need equipment, Bertelli's in West Springfield is a good place to start.
Sign-ups for any of the sessions are usually held a couple of weeks in advance, through the first few Saturdays of each session. Announcements about upcoming sign-ups will be posted on pioneervalleyhockey.org.
We look forward to helping your child learn the basic skills in ice-skating!
To download the Learn to Skate application, click here
MAIL COMPLETED APPLICATION FORM WITH $55.00 CHECK TO:
P.O. BOX 1366
HOLYOKE, MA 01041