HomeMoorestown NewsMaking connections on the rink

Making connections on the rink

Youth hockey association supports educational and healthy competition

Special to The Sun
The Moorestown Youth Street Hockey Association involves more than 300 players from towns that include Cinnaminson, Delran and Cherry Hill.

The Moorestown Youth Street Hockey Association (MYSHA) will host its first annual fundraiser through Tuesday, Oct. 31, and will use the proceeds to purchase new uniforms, maintain its rink and provide equipment for the team.

The hockey organization is not exclusive to Moorestown residents: Its more than 300 players come from towns such as Cinnaminson, Delran and Haddonfield. Moorestown has two youth street hockey rinks at Wesley Bishop Turf Fields, where all practices and games are held.

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According to the association’s website, practices are held before the season begins and at the coach’s discretion through the end of it. Games begin the first week in December and go through March on weekends, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

“You play just like you play ice hockey, except that you play on your feet,” said Joseph Rocco, a board member of the hockey association. “You don’t have to know how to ice skate or roller skate, and the rules are identical. You play six on six; each team has one goalie …

“It’s incredibly competitive in a good way.”

Proceeds raised from the organization’s first fundraiser will pay for rink improvements such as upgrading the flooring surface and replacing the fencing around the rinks with plexiglass, among others.

“We are just looking primarily for businesses to sponsor teams so that they would be featured on each team’s jersey, and each team has around 10-11 players,” Rocco explained. “Businesses would have their business sponsored and featured on the jerseys that they (players) wear to the games and to the practices, and we’re hoping that each team gets a sponsor.”

Rocco described the hockey organization as both an educational institution and a provider of competitive, recreational sports.

“What I mean by educational is, when the kids are younger, 4 to 6 and 7 to 9 years old primarily, the association is structured and focused on teaching them how to play hockey,” he noted, “because hockey is not one of the traditional sports that you get taught in school or in rec because there’s not many hockey rinks, frankly, in the area.

“It’s not like there’s an ice hockey rink in everyone’s town …” Rocco added. “In Moorestown, we have these rinks, so at younger ages we focus on teaching the kids the game of hockey.”

Rocco sees all the benefits the hockey group has to offer, including the connections kids make with each other and how to adapt to other sports.

“When you’re focusing on town sports, you’re usually playing basketball or soccer with kids in your town and in your school, which is a neat dynamic, but this gives these kids the opportunity to meet kids their age in other towns that they may compete against in other sports,” Rocco pointed out.

“It is also very good for keeping them in shape and endurance,” he added, “because there’s a lot of running … It’s a lot of speed and agility, and it really helps the kids in other sports too.

”When you can play street hockey on foot,” Rocco continued, “you build up that skill set and agility and speed and the transitions to basketball, the transitions to football, the transitions to other sports…”

To sponsor a hockey team or donate to the hockey association’s fundraiser, visit www.mysha.org.


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