Tennessee State University wants to create nation’s first HBCU hockey program

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Tennessee State (l.) might turn out to be the primary HBCU to ascertain a Division I hockey program, launching an exploratory committee with assist from the NHL’s close by Nashville Predators.
Picture: Getty Pictures

HBCUs have all the time been on the forefront of Black development in all areas of life.

The sports activities world isn’t any exception to this.

It’s apparent that there’s a drawback with variety in some sports activities, Hockey being certainly one of them. So per typical, an HBCU is available in to attempt to right the issue.

In keeping with the Nashville Publish, Tennessee State College is contemplating a Division I hockey program in coordination with the Nashville Predators, town’s NHL franchise. It might be the one HBCU hockey program in your complete nation.

The 2 aren’t any strangers to collaborating. Within the spring of 2020, the Predators teamed up with Tennessee State for a marketing campaign that in the end raised almost $2 million for over 500 benefit and need-based scholarships. The Predators put down the primary $100,000 to get the ball rolling.

As well as, the 2 have additionally joined to struggle discrimination and remodel the Nashville space. That initiative was titled the GUIDER (Development, Understanding, Inclusion, Range, Equality and Illustration) Group.

Tennessee State hockey remains to be a good distance from turning into actuality — the varsity will first set up a “feasibility committee” to assemble information earlier than making its determination. However even this system’s consideration is a step in the fitting route.

There was an elevated emphasis placed on HBCUs getting concerned in sports activities that historically lack Black gamers. Golden State Warriors famous person Steph Curry offered six years of funding for a golf program at Howard College. In keeping with HBCU Gameday, the SIAC, a Division II HBCU athletic convention, obtained a grant to start out a males’s volleyball competitors a number of years in the past, and Grambling State College in Louisiana will host an occasion this summer time that may attempt to urge HBCUs to include gymnastics applications.

Oftentimes the one issues stopping Black individuals from getting concerned in sure actions are a scarcity of publicity and illustration. By no means mistake the shortage of variety in these sports activities with the extent of curiosity from sure communities. If we actually need to create variety in sports activities apart from soccer, basketball, and monitor, we have to allocate sources to assembly Black individuals the place they’re, and bringing the video games to them. There additionally must be an emphasis on defending these applications and ensuring that they supply alternatives for Black hockey gamers.

Bringing Hockey to HBCUs can be a constructive step to creating hockey higher.

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