IHA's 1st Anniversary
Contact: Benny Gulakiw
716.741.1276 or 716.491.2656
For Immediate Release: February 7, 2004
INLINE HOCKEY AMERICA CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY
Lot?s to Look Forward to in Year Two
Inline Hockey America (IHA), a full-service roller hockey consulting, promotions, marketing, and development organization based in Buffalo, New York, is celebrating its First Anniversary. It was one year ago that Benny Gulakiw, President of Inline Hockey America, declared, ?A New Roller Hockey Nation was Born.? After a year of many highs and lows, IHA enters its second year poised to help the sport of roller hockey reach new heights.
The year started by announcing the creation of IHA-Elite, a new ?pro-style? elite roller hockey league to be initially based in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions. Many hours were spent working throughout the Spring and early Summer to secure the necessary teams. Ultimately, IHA-Elite was forced to postpone the launch of its inaugural season due to circumstances beyond its control. IHA is currently working with prospective teams for a 2004 launch of its Elite league.
Also announced last year was the creation of the IHA Women?s Challenge Series. This women?s-only roller hockey tournament series was scheduled to take place in Boston, Massachusetts and Buffalo, New York. Although the event in Boston was a success, the Buffalo portion of the 2003 Series had to be cancelled. More time is going in to preparing for the 2004 Series and IHA hopes to expand to four events, with possible additional events in Connecticut and Philadelphia.
To provide more opportunities for female players, in 2003 IHA created the Buffalo Nightmare Women?s Roller Hockey Club. This club, based in Buffalo, New York, is open to women and girls of all ages and its teams will participate in major events throughout the country.
Inline Hockey America continues its development initiatives started in 2003 at the high school and collegiate levels with the Buffalo High School Roller Hockey Association and the Western New York Collegiate Roller Hockey League. As awareness and interest in these leagues spread, other leagues will be created to meet the increasing demand.
While IHA works to improve its existing programs for year two, IHA is creating several new programs in a ongoing effort to help grow the sport.
In conjunction with the IHA Women?s Challenge Series, IHA is creating a women?s-only roller hockey clinic called ?Roller Hockey 101.? This clinic is being geared toward girls and women who want to learn the specific fundamentals of skating on inline blades and playing roller hockey. These clinics will take place at each Women?s Challenge event as well as at other facilities across the region and throughout the year.
Also for 2004, IHA will soon be announcing the creation of its newest league, IHA-Premier. This league will be a ?AA-style? league also to be initially based in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions. In contrast to IHA-Elite, a full-contact, adult league, IHA-Premier will not allow checking and because of this, each team will be allowed a number of player exemptions to give those players between the ages of 16 and 18 an opportunity to participate in a competitive travel league.
In an effort to expand the New Roller Hockey Nation?s boundaries, IHA is presently working on bringing an exhibition event to the Southeast called, ?Battle on the Bayou.? This event will pit some of the top roller hockey teams in the nation against each other to show the younger, developing players in the region the sport played at its highest level. A series of games will be combined with player?s clinics and coach?s clinics to provide a complete learning experience as well as a highly entertaining sports event. IHA is currently negotiating with facilities in Southeast and Gulf Coast states to stage the inaugural ?Battle.?
For more information on Inline Hockey America and any of its programs and events, visit IHA?s web site at www.inlinehockeyamerica.com or call the league?s office at (716) 741-1276 or (716) 491-2656.
- 30 -
Inline Hockey America