HARTFORD, Conn. – December 19, 2011 – Cigna, the Connecticut Whale and the YMCA of Greater Hartford are teaming up to bring hockey to the streets of Hartford and East Hartford for boys and girls ages 6 to 12 years.

CT WhaleThe Cigna Hockey in the Streets leagues kick off with a series of one-hour Connecticut Whale player clinics, beginning at five p.m., Monday, December 19, at The Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center on 444 Albany Ave., Hartford.  While the YMCA of Greater Hartford is the first to host the program, Cigna Hockey in the Streets is open to groups and venues throughout the region.

“By teaming up with The Whale and the YMCA, we’re introducing hockey to Greater Hartford children who might not otherwise be able to benefit from learning the fundamentals and fun of the game,” said Mark Boxer, Cigna executive vice president and chief information officer.  “The fact that they will be picking up valuable tips for working as a team, developing leadership skills and an overall health and fitness foundation from future National Hockey League players makes this an especially exciting program.”

Cigna, a global health service company headquartered in Bloomfield, Conn., is a proud sponsor of the Connecticut Whale and major supporter of the team’s goal of restoring to the Hartford hockey market the vibrancy it once enjoyed.  Cigna is also a primary supporter of the Greater Hartford YMCA, and its programs to develop the health and fitness of local youths.

“Goal one of The Connecticut Whale is to make a positive difference in our community. We are excited to team up with Cigna to launch this new comprehensive community outreach program that helps all kids have a shot at hockey,” said Howard Baldwin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Whalers Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Connecticut Whale. “

“The YMCA of Greater Hartford is delighted to be collaborating with Cigna and the Connecticut Whale.  When community organizations work together, the possibilities of helping to develop our youth are endless,” said James Morton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of Greater Hartford.  “The Hockey in the Streets program will not only teach our kids the fundamentals of hockey, but, through a mini-lecture series built into the program for participants and their families, will teach them life skills such as team-building, leadership, personal responsibility, healthy eating habits and the importance of giving back.”

In addition to fun and healthy competition, the Cigna Hockey in the Streets will offer greater Hartford kids a Healthy Hat Trick of goals:

  1. Live Healthy. Eat right, stay active, and avoid dangerous activity.
  2. Be Me. Study hard, respect yourself, and do everything you can to achieve your personal best.
  3. Help Others. Spread your healthy outlook to your family, friends, and your community.

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