Homer Hockey Association opens the 2023-2024 hockey season on Sunday with a full day of events at the Kevin Bell Arena on the Homer Spit.
The day starts off with “Run for the Rink,” a 6K family run starting at the arena and heading out the Spit to the halfway point at the Deep Water Dock before returning to the rink. The run starts at 11 a.m. but registration will begin at 10 a.m. Homer Hockey Association encourages early arrival to avoid a long line ahead of the race. Fees for the race are $25 for adult and $5 for youth and can be paid by cash, check or credit card.
Following the race will be a free barbecue and hockey gear swap. Free open skate will be noon to 2 p.m. and the event will close with a free stick time from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“This is basically just a fun promotional event for the rink to welcome back our customers and let people see what our fall and winter activities have to offer the community,” Matt Clarke, board member with the Homer Hockey Association, said.
The public gear swap is a great way for people who have quality gear that is no longer of use to them to pass it on to others who might need it or be interested, Clarke said.
Last year there were about 120 K-12 kids who participated in the youth hockey program. The youth compete against teams on both the Kenai Peninsula and in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna area. “Really, there are teams all over the state who we could potentially compete with in Kodiak, Fairbanks and down in Juneau, too,” said Clarke.
This year will also be the first year of a Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Homer High School hockey team that will hold practice time at the Kevin Bell Arena. The district will cover coaching, ice time and travel expenses.
The arena also offers open skate to the public, a men’s and women’s league and a weekly Friday night lights skate. There are partnerships with the school district that provide skating lessons and family skate time throughout the winter and spring, Clarke said.
Information regarding youth hockey registration can be found at www.kevinbellarena.org.