Posted on Jun 04, 2023
San Diego Chill President Ryan Labrum (upper left) shows some concept drawings of the vision for the San Diego Chill center (lower right). The San Diego Chill welcomes all children to learn to skate and play hockey (upper and lower left)
Hockey, in San Diego?  Yes, San Diego has the Gulls and numerous club teams, but how does someone start with hockey?  And how might a child who is neurodiverse or is experiencing developmental challenges learn to play hockey? The San Diego Chill is dedicated to helping all children experience the joy of gliding on the ice and being part of a team. Ryan Labrum, President of San Diego Chill, spoke at our club June 2, 2023.  The Chill is open to all children with developmental challenges. They provide new hockey gear to the children at no cost and a chance to discover their own confidence and ability to be independent from their parents.  Ryan said that Chill coaches can have a child skating confidently within an hour using a technique involving two coaches and two hockey sticks.  Click HERE to watch an episode of “Making Good” that features the Chill and this training technique.
The volunteer coaches are high school students who have at least three years of hockey experience. The Chill also regularly invites child development and medical experts to meet with the teen coaches to tailor instructions to individual needs and abilities. The biggest challenge for the Chill is ice time.  After the closure of two rinks in Escondido, ice time is at a premium and the Chill must compete with other hockey clubs.  The dream of the Chill is to build The San Diego Chill Center, and, as a full-time architect, Ryan drafted some plans envisioning what the center might look like.  For now, the Chill is working hard to ensure that all of their members have a place for fun and independence.