SC Stingrays hit the ice for 2nd Annual Kid's Day

Published: Jul. 16, 2014 at 6:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM EDT
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Stingrays President Rob Concannon offering up ice skating tips.
Stingrays President Rob Concannon offering up ice skating tips.

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Players and staff from the South Carolina Stingrays shared the ice Wednesday with over 50 children as part of their 2nd Annual Kid's Day at the Carolina Ice Palace.

Kids from the Carolina Youth Development Center's Freedom Schools program spent the morning learning about hockey and skating on the ice with members of the Stingrays, including Head Coach Spencer Carbery, Team President and Hall of Famer Rob Concannon, and several players.

Freedom Schools provides a six week summer enrichment program hosting 50 third through eighth grade students in North Charleston. The program focuses on literacy, while providing students with fun activities throughout the community.

Kid's Day teams the Stingrays up with Hockey Players for Kids (HP4K), a volunteer organization of professional hockey players that works to bring a positive influence to children in local communities. Carbery, who is a founding member of the organization, helped in setting up the event.

Rhiannon Rainsford, program director for Carolina Youth Development Center's Freedom Schools program, says Kid's Day offers their students the unique opportunity to get behind the scenes and learn the game of hockey from the players themselves, which had a number of kids marking the day on their calendars well in advance.

"They absolutely love it," said Rainsford. "We have a few returners from last year, and it was the first thing they all asked about. A few of them were asking if they could bring paper to get autographs from the players today."

"I woke up excited," said 11-year-old Tre'vaughn Washington. "It was fun. Hanging out with friends, laughing, joking, skating."

For Concannon, who won an ECHL Kelly Cup Championship with the Stingrays in 1997, Kid's Day is a chance for the team to give back to the community, while introducing many kids to not only ice skating, but also to the game he loves.

"It's great because you can see the different levels of intensity on each one of their faces. Some of the kids are really nervous, while others are straight up and going for it and don't care if they crash into the boards," said Concannon. "At the end of the day, you can see they all had a great time."

When the kids weren't on the ice, they were trying on hockey gear, learning the art of the wristshot from Coach Carbery, and hitching a ride on the Liquid Box Fan Zam.

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