NewsLocal News


Training facility shows hockey’s continued growth in Kansas City area

Training facility shows hockey’s continued growth in Kansas City area
Posted at 6:30 AM, Dec 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-13 07:32:52-05

Bar Down Sports Co. in Overland Park, Kansas, recently opened a new section to its hockey supply store: a training facility.

On the other half of the store, there is a sheet of synthetic ice and a skating treadmill. These features allow for increased practice and one-on-one training, according to trainer Cody Williams.

“It's smaller, it's not as big so we can really break the game down into a really, really small aspect which helps, Williams said. In my opinion, it helps kids grasp on to things a little bit more. When you're at the rink, there's usually a lot of other things going on.”

KC Youth Hockey Association told KSHB 41 News that this season, 63 new players joined, making the total 1,200. They expect that number to grow even more when BluHawk opens in 2024.

Williams said with three rinks available right now (Line Creek, Independence Community Ice and KC Ice Center), having this opportunity contributes to the growing sport and availability for players.

"Almost every single person that comes in here wants to come back, which is great for business, but it's also just great for the hockey community in general," Williams said. "It's fun to see kids get excited when they learn how to hold their stick correctly or if they take a really good shot. That's awesome.”

Williams said the synthetic ice is a special type of plastic that doesn’t need to be smoothed down constantly. The skating treadmill works similarly to a running treadmill, besides the fact that it is much larger in size and can be skated on. He said these are features that are not widely available in or around Kansas City.

If you are interested in signing your child up for hockey, visit the KC Youth Hockey Association's website for the list of available leagues.

If you are an adult interested in trying hockey for the first time or picking the sport back up, there is the Kansas City Women’s Hockey League or various adult leagues spread throughout the three rinks, which also offer lessons.