Kids face off against parents in annual hockey game toy drive

Published 9:04 am Saturday, December 9, 2023

On Thursday night, the LaGrange Hockey Association held its annual Kids vs Parents Hockey Game. 

The event serves as a way to allow kids in the league to blow off some steam by playing a game against their parents at the end of the fall season and also help a good cause. To play in the game, parents are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

Coach Glenn Cunningham came up with the idea six years ago, and they’ve been doing it every year since. Cunningham said the event is a fun way to cap off the year for the kids and parents.

“The kids work so hard, but they don’t have other teams to play against, so they play against each other,” Cunningham said. “We just thought, ‘wouldn’t it be fun? The parents are already here watching. Let’s see how much the parents have learned.”

Cunningham joked that the kids love the event, but he isn’t so sure about the parents.

“It really took off. The kids get so excited. The parents I don’t know if they’re excited, but they’re going to run tonight,” Cunningham said before the game.

The league plays a variant of hockey called ball hockey at the Mike Daniel Recreation Center. Cunningham said their youth league has players ranging from six to 16. The kids play in shoes, running rather than skating. For the adults, it’s more of a hybrid with some skaters and some runners, he said.

The smaller kids played together with older teens against their parents for the annual match-off.

“The little ones are used to getting knocked down when they’re playing with each other so if they get knocked down by a parent, they don’t lay on the floor and cry. They get right back up,” Cunningham said.

Right now, the league typically holds games and practices at Mike Daniel, but there are plans in the works to add outdoor multi-use hockey rinks to the Whitesville Road Sports Complex, Cunningham said. 

Cunningham oversees all of the local teams and serves as the Director of the Georgia division of the National Ball Hockey League.

The toy drive received dozens of gifts to donate to Toys for Tots for the game. The toys had to be dropped off on a table outside the rink because the adults already filled up their first Toys for Tots box, Cunningham said. He said they usually fill up three or more boxes each year.