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DREAM BIG: Students tour WeStreet Ice Center

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Posted at 10:32 PM, Jul 08, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa's new WeStreet Ice Center invited a big group of North Tulsa students for a visit. They are part of a summer camp whose leaders hope encouraging them to trying something new will inspire big dreams for their future.

For many of these summer campers, just visiting the WeStreet Ice Center is a first. Few have ever seen a hockey game, much less an ice rink. Here, they are VIP's on a personal tour with Tulsa Oilers Assistant Coach Scott Dutertre.

"This area here where you're standing is where we fix our players up when they get banged up," said Scott Dutertre, Tuilsa Oilers Assistant Coach, as he walked students through the physical therapy room.

The team mascot, Sledge, is here to greet the children, and so are the Tulsa Oiler Ice Girls. The kids even got to try out the new exercise equipment. One boy called it "fancy" and thought maybe he would want to be a hockey player someday.

Convincing these children to dream big is the goal of theTulsa Youth Works Summer Dream Camp. Camp director Anna Falling told 2 News these students come from Tulsa's low-income, high crime areas and many are struggling in school.

"And so a lot of times our kids just need to dream," said Anna Falling, Tulsa Youth Works Ranch Director. "They need to see something that they've never seen before and they can say, 'Hey, that's what I want to do in life.'"

Field trips, promised after a morning spent on reading, math and relationship skills, help them learn even more.

During the tour, the operations manager shows off the Zamboni machine, which smooths the ice. And when asked by the coach who is a first time skater, one boy named Remy, responded, "I'm not good at skating."

Being good at skating doesn't matter here. Instead, it is all about trying. The kids found the skates were "heavy" and they felt "nervous" but that didn't stop them from lacing up the gear and heading for the ice.

"I mean it's more fun to get them outside the box," said Tulsa Ice Oiler Girl Kat Nash. "Get them that exposure they've probably never had before. And who has to wait until winter to have fun, you know?"

When 2 News anchor Karen Larsen asked one young skater what was the best part, she heard "Learning how to for the first time."
And who knows? Maybe there's a future hockey star lacing up their skates.

"These type of things you never know who might pick up the game," said Coach Dutertre. "Or at least be in here skating and they might grow to love the sport and start playing."

Or simply dream big.

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