There are instructional hockey clinics and then there is Pure As Pond Ice.
Started in 2009 inthe lakes area of Oakland County with a group of passionate hockey players from the surrounding communities, the group saw an opportunity to make a change and spread the joy of pond hockey to Detroitby bringing their passion for the game to underprivileged inner-city kids.
Everyone involved with the organization is in their early 20s and played hockey either at the high school or junior level in metro Detroit.
Earlier this spring, Pure As Pond Ice had a free clinic at the Jack Adams Arena in Detroit that was well-received by the players and parents.
“The kids loved it and the parents were thoroughly impressed with our hockey knowledge,” said Pure As Pond Ice founder and director of executive operations Timothy Hooker. “We brought a professional and fun attitude to deliver a superior product for no cost. We teach fundamentals and individual skills to build strong team players. We hope to continue developing our programs and host a variety of camps teaching different skills building character in the youth of Detroit.”
Hooker, who played junior hockey in Waterford for the Metro Jets along with instructors David Merkle, Jonathon Elliott and Morgan James, said Pure As Pond Ice is a way to give back to the game that gave him so many opportunities.
“We see the joy of kids learning to play hockey just like our instructors taught us,” said Hooker. “We’re basically passing down the game of hockey like our former coaches and instructors did for us.”
Looking ahead, Hooker sees a bright future for his group, especially south of 8 Mile Road.
“The future of Pure As Pond Ice is limitless in Detroit,” Hooker said. “We have developed strong partnerships with the Detroit Hockey Association and Think Detroit PAL and together, we are the Grassroots Hockey Coalition of Detroit. We plan to build a sustainable youth hockey presence in the inner city and plan on hosting several clinics throughout the summer and developing a large house hockey league at Jack Adams Ice Arena next season.”
Next February, Pure As Pond Ice will be hosting the first annual Pond of Dreams Championship, a major fundraising event to be played on Cooley Lake and hosted by the Cooley Lake Inn.
For more information, visit www.pureaspondice.org.