CIHC, Ohio AAA Blue Jackets Announce Mentoring Partnership
The Columbus Ice Hockey Club and Ohio AAA Blue Jackets are pleased to announce the establishment of a coaching mentoring program between the two hockey programs. As part of thismentorship program, Columbus Ice Hockey Club coaches will attend select Ohio AAA Blue Jackets practices and meetings, and Ohio AAA Blue Jackets coaches will serve as mentors to select Columbus Ice Hockey Club coaches, and the AAA Blue Jackets mentor coach will work with the CIHC coach on practice plans, game strategy, player development, and parent communication.
“Next to our kids, the biggest investment we can make is in our coaches and administrators, both on and off the ice,” Mike Watson, president of the Columbus Ice Hockey Club, said. “Establishing a formal mentoring program for our coaches is the logical next step. The mentoring program with the AAA Blue Jackets allows us to take advantage of and learn from some of the top Tier I coaches in central Ohio who have a proven track record of success and developing not only great hockey players, but great young men and women as well. I am very excited for our club participants and coaches.”
Ed Gingher, Columbus AAA Blue Jacket Program Coordinator and Midget Major Head Coach called the partnership with CIHC, part of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone program, a “good fit” for his program. “We are pleased to be a part of this mentorship program,” he said, “because it allows our coaches to help other coaches which in turn helps players improve and that is the most important part."
The Ohio AAA Blue Jacket program is the only Tier I youth hockey program in central Ohio, and consists of six teams playing in three age groups at the Tier 1 level, the highest level of youth hockey offered by USA Hockey. The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets Tier 1 AAA program was formed in conjunction with the Columbus Chill Youth Hockey Association, Capital Amateur Hockey Association and Easton Youth Hockey Association to provide a first class Tier 1 AAA hockey program in Ohio focused on both player development and academic achievement.
The Columbus Ice Hockey Club is one of 39 NHL Hockey is For Everyone programs and is affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. We serve over 3,000 youth per year in our Learn to Play Hockey, Learn to Skate, and hockey team programs, with more than 65 percent of its participants minority and more than 25 percent female. The club offers hockey instruction and team play for children ranging from 5-18 years old from mini-mite through midget. We also offer to all participants off-ice programming in the areas of leadership development and conflict resolution.
CIHC started in 1999 and focuses on providing on-ice and off-ice opportunities for youth in the Central Ohio area. In partnership with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the NHL, theColumbus Blue Jackets Foundation, CAHA, the Chillers, and CCYHA, CIHC has been providing year-round ice skating and ice hockey instruction for more than 27,000 program participants, as well asoff-ice programming for club participants in the areas of conditioning, academic support, violence prevention, and community service.