NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) - Iron Range Hockey Association (IRHA) announced a new program, Project Zebra. Organized sports are experiencing an alarming shortfall of referees. The reason for this shortfall is primarily due to verbal abuse of officials and hockey referee costs.
IRHA is offering a grass roots referee program, which is focusing on a younger group of members wanting to be active in a leadership role in the field of hockey. This program provides equipment (helmet, shirt and whistle) training and mentoring.
Project Zebra is being made possible from a grant awarded by the Community Foundation of Marquette County, Negaunee and Greater Ishpeming Area Youth Funds.
President of IRHA Chris Roose says, “We (IRHA Board of Directors) are basing the program after a Michigan Amateur Hockey Association Grow Hockey-One Goal program. Becoming a referee can be expensive with equipment, registration and the required skills. This is an opportunity for our young members to expand their role in organized hockey and hopefully find it rewarding."
Project Zebra is a Partnership of the Iron Range Hockey Association, Community Foundation of Marquette County Negaunee and Greater Ishpeming Area Youth Funds and further support from Michigan Amateur Hockey Association.
“Project Zebra allowed us to build in a great mentoring opportunity. Project Zebra members will be provided up to four additional hours of on-ice instruction from mentor, Braydon Ogelsby, who is an IRHA high school aged referee. He has embraced his leadership role and wants to share his passion with other members. We are so appreciative of the community support for this program” says Roose.
Any questions about Project Zebra can be directed to the IRHA Board of Directors at www.ironrangehockey.com