Youth travel hockey program playing out of Winter Garden Ice Arena, Ridgefield, CT

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Important Season Kick-off Information
08/23/2018
To all RAHA Players and Families, We are exactly two weeks away...
Announcing RAHA's New Hockey Director
06/06/2018
It is with pleasure and excitement that the RAHA Board of Director's...
Board of Directors for the 2018-19 season
04/25/2018
The results are in for the recent election to the Board of Directors....
 
Important Season Kick-off Information

To all RAHA Players and Families,

We are exactly two weeks away from the official start of the 2018-2019 RAHA season!  We are sure that many of you have already turned your attention away from sunscreen and beaches towards a near future filled with frozen toes, frigid rinks, and most importantly...some quality youth HOCKEY!

With that in mind, there is quite a bit of important information and details which we would like to share in advance of the season.

Scheduling Update

The "official" start of the RAHA season will be on September 4th, beginning with Skills sessions.  Even professionals never stop working on their foundational skills, and RAHA is committed to the development of skills which players will take with them as they progress throughout their entire hockey careers. 

As a reminder, Skill Sessions for Squirts, Peewees and Bantams will run for the first 9 weeks of the season.  We are pleased to bring back the Erik Nates program for the first 4 weeks of skills, during which there will be an intensive focus on skating technique and puck handling.  The first week of the season will begin with 3 skills sessions to jump start our players, after which Skills sessions will move to once-weekly on Wednesdays.  An announcement will be forthcoming for the remaining 5 weeks of skills.  

For most teams, this means that their first official practice with their teams (and their coaches) will occur during the week of 9/10.  Please note, your coaches will be communicating with you directly over the coming week with additional team-specific logistics and details.  

RAHA is again pleased to announce another year of dedicated Goalie Training. This year we will be working with the regions premier goalie training group, ProCrease Goaltending. We are thrilled to be working with Jared Waimon and his coaches this year to help develop our goalies starting with our Mite players who are interested in the position. The sessions start on Friday evening, Sept 7th and run through the end of the season. The schedule shifts to Tuesdays in early November. Please check the website for specific times.

Off-ice Training (dry land) will begin in week 2 (Sept 10). Each team will have a half hour slot once a week either immediately before or after their on ice practice. There will be no off-ice when there is no on-ice (holidays and days where WG is not available to us).  We are also happy to say that Jay Mountain will be returning as our head off-ice training coach!

Team schedules and details can be found on the RAHA website – www.ridgefieldhockey.org

Communication Update

There are many good things going on at RAHA. This year we have 14 teams and over 175 players participating representing the largest numbers we have ever had! As a program it is important that we share our successes, receive feedback and give members a forum to learn about the program and contribute to the progress we are making. This year we will distribute a regular RAHA newsletter, schedule Town Hall/Information Sessions, conduct a program survey and do a better job overall of communicating with the families in the RAHA program. Look for more details and the timing of the first Town Hall coming soon.

Equipment Update

Pro Shop Day in July was a great success! More than 50 families attended and placed orders in person; dozens more ordered online. TJ Cline (from the Top Shelf Pro Shop at Winter Garden Arena) and the Bauer representatives have graciously offered to host a second Pro Shop Day in September. Again, Bauer representatives will be available and interested shoppers will be able to purchase any item from the full Bauer line at competitive pricing. Families who have not ordered warm-up suits will be able to do so, along with other spirit wear items. TJ will also debut new Lions spirit wear items, including jersey-style sweatshirts, and will have samples of a variety of winter items, including wool hats, flannel pajama pants, and blankets. All orders placed then will be delivered before the Can/Am tournament.

The final date and time are still pending, but we are attempting to secure a Wednesday evening in September since the majority of the program will be in and out of the Winter Garden for skills sessions on those nights.  

For those that will need helmet stickers (because you are new to the organization or purchased a new helmet), please notify your team manager. Helmet stickers will be distributed during the first week of practice. along with practice jerseys. There is no additional charge for these items. 

We would like to remind all players that the Lions game uniform comprises a set of game jerseys, a set of game socks, a black helmet, black gloves, and a black Lions pants shell. For practices, please wear your practice jersey and black socks (any type other than game socks). Please encourage your players not wear game socks to practice.

Neck guards, mouth guards, and full pads are mandatory for all games and practices (including shooters at goalie clinics).  At your first team meeting, your coach will review any additional uniform requirements, such as what to wear on game day.

Registrar

There are still a few players who have not yet registered with USA Hockey. Please note: players will NOT be allowed to participate in practices or games if he or she is not registered with USA Hockey. If your player has not yet registered, please do so immediately and forward the confirmation email to Kathy Ludwig ( .)

Additionally, all coaches, team managers, and parent coaches must undergo SafeSport training. The SafeSport Training and Refresher Training are each valid for two seasons.  Thus, if you took the training during the 2017-18 season, it is valid for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Please visit https://www.usahockey.com/safesporttraining for more information.

Volunteers Needed! 

There are several volunteer positions that need to be filled across teams.  If you are interested in Team Manager or Team Scheduler positions, please reach out to your Coach directly.  We cannot overstate the importance of these positions, and they are often the difference between a good or a GREAT season!   We will also need volunteers at the ready for activities such as the Mite Jamboree as well as Fund Raising. 

See everyone around the rink and GO LIONS!


by posted 08/23/2018
Announcing RAHA's New Hockey Director

It is with pleasure and excitement that the RAHA Board of Director's is officially announcing the addition of Peter Bafundo as RAHA's new Hockey Director.

RAHA has been making investments in the skill development of our players and formalizing a methodology to teach our children the game of hockey starting with learning to skate as 5 and 6 year olds and their skatingall the way through our Bantam AA team and higher and their understadning the complexities of the game.

Peter has been a long time member of the program playing his youth jockey career in Ridgefield, refereeing in the area and most recently coaching various Bantam teams for RAHA over the last several years.

Peter's role will forcus on developing the RAHA skills progression framework in conjuntion with USA Hockey and working with the coaches to deliver and system where we can prescriptively teach our players while allowing the expertise of our professional coaches to accelerate the learning process.

Please welcome Peter to his new role and feel free to say hello to him when you see him around Winter Garden.


by posted 06/06/2018
Board of Directors for the 2018-19 season

The results are in for the recent election to the Board of Directors. Kim Hulber and Elizabeth Zimels have been elected to three-year terms on the RAHA Board of Directors. Eric Presbrey was also reelected to a seat. We are delighted to have them join the team. On behalf of the entire board — welcome aboard!

The new board comprises the following members:

  • Jane Hoeffner (Registrar & Equipment)
  • Kim Hulber (Winter Garden Ice Scheduling)
  • Hilary Kao (Secretary)
  • Eric Presbrey (President)
  • Danielle Scesa (Treasurer)
  • Patrick Walsh (Vice President)
  • Kevin White (Development)
  • Elizabeth Zimels (CanAm & Volunteers)
  • Jared Kurtz (Marketing & Communications)

by posted 04/25/2018
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