By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Registration is now open for an academy created by the Penguins to provide opportunities to Black youth hockey players.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Reports 3-Day Total Of 11,208 New Cases, 105 More Deaths
The Penguins created the Willie O’Ree Academy in honor of Willie O’Ree, who became the NHL’s first Black player in 1958 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2018.
It’s a nine-week training program that will bring together Black youth hockey players skating in the PAHL and PIHL.
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We are proud to announce the the creation of the "Willie O’Ree Academy", a program designed to provide unique training, social, and mentorship opportunities for Black youth hockey players in the Pittsburgh region.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 18, 2021
The academy starts on June 15 and will be open to boys and girls ages 10 to 18.
“We have a number of diversity programs that we will be rolling out in the next few months, but this one is special because it honors Willie’s legacy while creating unique growth opportunities for Black youth already playing hockey,” said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the Penguins in a press release.
“They’re skating for amateur and high school teams throughout the region, but they don’t really know each other. The academy gives them a chance to meet, get together, skate and train as a unit in the summer and, maybe most importantly, share experiences. We appreciate the fact that DICK’S Sporting Goods has stepped up again to help us in this important initiative.”MORE NEWS: Former Secretary Of State Colin Powell Dies Of COVID-19 Complications
You can learn more about the academy here.