Gear Up Minnesota: As a Proud Partner of Minnesota Hockey, Total Hockey is a significant contributor and supporter of Gear Up Minnesota!, an equipment grant program administered by Minnesota Hockey. Alongside the Minnesota Wild Foundation, RBC Wealth Management, and other tremendous corporate and individual donors, we are investing in the future of Minnesota hockey and breaking the barriers to entry into the sport across the state. Further, as part of our in-store Gear Up Minnesota! dollar match, we introduce the concept to the grassroots customer creating awareness of the program and instilling an opportunity for them to make a contribution to the growth of hockey that will directly serve other Minnesotans wanting to play. The overall intent of Gear Up Minnesota! is to provide associations with a recruiting tool to favorably attract more youth players, and to make hockey more accessible for prospective families. Eliminating the hurdle of having to buy equipment for a first –year hockey playing boy or girl is key to allowing new participation. Further, by giving kids use of needed equipment, it helps offsets the costs of youth hockey so associations can make commitments to other endeavors, allocating assets to cover overhead and grow other needed aspects of their hockey programs. Simply put, our donations add more players to associations’ rosters, giving access and opportunity for skill development and joy. It also gives new families the ability to budget minimal entry level costs as well as provides a new bonding experience through recreation and love of hockey. Ultimately, Gear Up Minnesota! helps sustain association-based programs assuring vibrant hockey communities.
Annually, Minnesota Hockey associations across the state are asked to submit how their unique ideas have helped shape and extend its base of new Learn To Play level players, as well as explain measurement and retention tools to assure those players are given an opportunity to continue experiencing hockey in a safe, supportive, and fun environment for years to come. The entries are evaluated and selected based on the programs’ success and association needs.
Learn to Play: The Total Hockey Learn To Play hockey program is integral to our Grow the Game initiative to advance the sport of hockey through vital support. We have three guiding principles:
To get needed hockey equipment into the hands of families who are yearning for a dynamic, thoughtful and community-based sport for their children, and who otherwise may not know of or have the opportunity.
To collaborate with dedicated volunteers of sustainable local hockey associations and help offset the clubs cost of necessary resources for them to focus on what they do best – coaching and teaching kids how to play hockey while building character and having fun.
To assure a superior in-store experience for the new players by providing access and personalized fitting of quality starter gear for maximum performance and safety on the ice. With these combined efforts, we believe this will contribute to organic hockey membership growth and retention to sustain not only hockey associations, but create more vibrant hockey communities through family recreation, and elevate a quality hockey experience for life-long joy of the game.
We are in our fourth year of giving hockey equipment to deserving associations in the form of vouchers that are redeemed in our store locations for quality protective gear including helmet with cage, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, pants, shin guards and bag. By assuring new players and families receive superior customer service through personalized gear fittings, Total Hockey’s experienced staff covers the spectrum from the emotional to the practical considerations of hockey– confidence, peace of mind, and knowledge. Discussions focus on understanding the process of well-fitting gear, safety needs, performance and comfort, assuring the best on ice experience for the beginning player. It also sets the foundation for families to have a one-stop resource for all their equipment and advice as they progress in hockey.
For associations who have the sincere desire to maintain growth and sustain for the long-term, Total Hockey can assist by providing equipment donations in partnership, or introduce specially-priced equipment programs, share recruitment and retention ideas to implement and administer in their home community, give families an opportunity to offset club fees through our Breakaway Rewards while also earning discounts on equipment, and deliver ongoing positive customer experiences in store and through our ecommerce site so families are knowledgeable and confident as they continue in hockey.
The Total Hockey Learn To Play program has removed the barrier for thousands of kids to begin playing and to continue in hockey, while shoring up vital resources for community-based hockey organizations to thrive.