New street hockey rink opens in Mott Park
FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - A ribbon-cutting was held on Tuesday for a fun new activity at Mott Park that can be played by anyone at any time.
Organizers of the event are optimistic about the impact the new street hockey rink will have for the Flint community, with many children heading out to the ribbon-cutting on Tuesday, Sept. 5 to check it out.
“When I got an opportunity, it was a no-brainer for me to transcend our program onto the court and also to provide opportunities for brand new participants of the sport,” said Rico Phillips, the director of Flint Inner City Youth Hockey and winner of the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award.
While there are walls to keep the ball in the rink, Phillips said he guarantees this rink’s goal is to create a barrier-free learning experience for kids in Flint.
“What we wanted to be able to do is provide a space where there is no cost. You don’t have to have equipment because the equipment is here for you. And what’s really cool about that is it eliminates some of the things, the worries about getting involved in a sport like hockey,” Phillips said.
The new rink is tucked away like a hidden gem in Flint’s Mott Park, located off Nolan Drive between Weller Street and Dougherty Place.
“It’s a beautification of the neighborhood. It looks so much better than it used to,” said John Guynn, the neighborhood service director for Habitat for Humanity in Genesee County. “Hoping that people see this as an asset.”
Kids on Tuesday night learned how to hold a hockey stick, pass, and score while learning the rules of hockey.
Use of the ball hockey court and its equipment is free.
Among the attendees was Grand Blanc mother Rachel Smith and her two sons trying their hand at the game.
“I think it’s good to help them with coordination, but mostly they’re just out there having fun and socializing,” said Smith. “No one had to buy any equipment, we can just show up and play and enjoy it.”
The project was about a year in the making.
“Come be a part of what’s, the positivity that is happening here in Flint and look for the positive things in it. You’ll find it right here at Mott Park,” Phillips said.
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