Winter sports are in full-force, meaning nights and weekends filled with tournaments and a lot of ice time—and little personal time.
The Hockey Mom Club, launched in Plymouth in May by hockey dad Jim Dowden, has designed a program to make life less expensive for families involved in youth sports, offering “discounts from rinks to restaurants.” “Mom is not the only one who can score the deals; anyone can sign up for the club and the membership card can be used by anyone in the family,” the father of two athletes says. “Youth sports are getting more expensive every year. Our Hockey Mom Club program was started to give families a break—to help them save both time and money.”
This month Dowden offers three ways to save during the hectic months of November and December.
1. Ask family and friends if they have useable equipment—there is a lot of good equipment collecting dust in Minnesota garages. Even kids that no longer play organized hockey might have equipment you can use. When friends and family get together over the holidays, it’s a great time to let everyone know you’re looking for for equipment. Grab next year’s stuff this year—it doesn’t take long for kids to grow into it.
2. Buy used skates: Not only are they less expensive, they are already broken-in, which means they are probably more comfortable. Remember: Used skates are cool—and they have the battle scars to prove it. It’s easy to get a used pair of really good skates for the same price (or less) as a new pair of cheap skates.
3. Get an adjustable helmet that can be used for several seasons. The helmet is the most important piece of equipment, so it’s vital to spend the money and get a good one. That said, many helmets are now safe and adjustable so that as the player grows the helmet can grow with them. This way a helmet can last for years as opposed to months.
Sign up for Hockey Mom Club for free! The membership card gets families discounts all over town (think free skate sharpening at Letterman Sports, two for ones at Dunn Bros. Coffee, 25 percent off Dickey’s BBQ). New retail partners join weekly, and the program is currently being rolled out statewide so families can take advantage of savings when they travel for tournaments.