Monday morning, the Capitals announced that Rockville, Md. native and Olympic gold medalist Haley Skarupa will spearhead their youth hockey efforts as the team's hockey ambassador.
Skarupa most recently played for the Boston Pride in the NWHL, and is currently part of the PWHPA and #ForTheGame movement, where she recently played against the San Jose Sharks alumni in an exhibition game.
The @PWHPA had a great time getting on the ice with over 100 girls in San Jose yesterday! Thank you @SanJoseSharks for your support and for having us as part of your Fan Fest Weekend.— PWHPA (@PWHPA) September 22, 2019
We can’t wait to face off against the @SharksAlumni in the Legends Game tonight! #TealTogether pic.twitter.com/eC6Bn4TUoo
“I’m extremely excited to join the Capitals organization,” Skarupa said in a press release. “I grew up playing hockey in the area, so this opportunity to come back and develop the game around the region is incredibly special. The Capitals have done such an amazing job growing this sport for boys and girls and I’m excited to use my experience and background to continue making a difference in the community and beyond.”
In her role as hockey ambassador, Skarupa will enhance the Caps' current youth hockey programming, establish women's and girls programming within the organization and will drive growth across the current youth hockey offerings.
The Caps will celebrate IIHF Girls Hockey Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 5, with two free Washington Capitals Girls Hockey Clinics for girls ages 8-18 at MedStar Capitals IcePlex hosted by Skarupa.
“Her talent on the ice and her dedication to engaging participants in the sport make her a terrific role model for aspiring athletes," said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder, Chairman, Principal Partner and CEO, Ted Leonsis. "Over the past several years, we have seen a tremendous increase in youth hockey participation across the area and we believe her addition will continue to spur growth among young participants.”
According to USA Hockey, since Alex Ovechkin was drafted, participation by youth players has skyrocketed in the DC Metro Area by 221%, and now includes 22,144 players, coaches and officials.
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