HOCKEY IN THE STREETS

whaleCigna, the Whale and YMCA Team Up for

“Hockey in the Streets” for Greater Hartford’s Inner City Kids

· Cigna sponsors inner city kids’ Connecticut  Whale player clinics and street hockey leagues at Hartford and East Hartford YMCAs

· All Hartford and East Hartford boys and girls ages 6 to 12 years invited to play and learn

cignaCigna, the Connecticut Whale and the YMCA of Greater Hartford are teaming up to bring hockey to the streets of Hartford and East Hartford for boys and girls ages 6 to 12 years.

The Cigna Hockey in the Streets leagues kick off with a series of one-hour Connecticut Whale player clinics, beginning at five p.m., Monday, December 19, at The Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center on 444 Albany Ave., Hartford.  While the YMCA of Greater Hartford is the first to host the program, Cigna Hockey in the Streets is open to groups and venues throughout the region.

“By teaming up with The Whale and the YMCA, we’re introducing hockey to Greater Hartford children who might not otherwise be able to benefit from learning the fundamentals and fun of the game,” said Mark Boxer, Cigna executive vice president and chief information officer.  “The fact that they will be picking up valuable tips for working as a team, developing leadership skills and an overall health and fitness foundation from future National Hockey League players makes this an especially exciting program.”

Cigna, a global health service company headquartered in Bloomfield, Conn., is a proud sponsor of the Connecticut Whale and major supporter of the team’s goal of restoring to the Hartford hockey market the vibrancy it once enjoyed.  Cigna is also a primary supporter of the Greater Hartford YMCA, and its programs to develop the health and fitness of local youths.

“Goal one of The Connecticut Whale is to make a positive difference in our community. We are excited to team up with Cigna to launch this new comprehensive community outreach program that helps all kids have a shot at hockey,” said Howard Baldwin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Whalers Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Connecticut Whale. “

“The YMCA of Greater Hartford is delighted to be collaborating with Cigna and the Connecticut Whale.  When community organizations work together, the possibilities of helping to develop our youth are endless,” said James Morton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of Greater Hartford.  “The Hockey in the Streets program will not only teach our kids the fundamentals of hockey, but, through a mini-lecture series built into the program for participants and their families, will teach them life skills such as team-building, leadership, personal responsibility, healthy eating habits and the importance of giving back.”

In addition to fun and healthy competition, the Cigna Hockey in the Streets will offer greater Hartford kids a Healthy Hat Trick of goals:

1. Live Healthy. Eat right, stay active, and avoid dangerous activity.

2. Be Me. Study hard, respect yourself, and do everything you can to achieve your personal best.

3. Help Others. Spread your healthy outlook to your family, friends, and your community.

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 70 million customer relationships throughout the world.  To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

About The Whale

The AHL’s Connecticut Whale is operated by Whalers Sports and Entertainment, a Hartford-based sports marketing and event firm founded by Howard Baldwin and Howard Baldwin, Jr.  The team is the top player-development affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers

About the YMCA

The YMCA of Greater Hartford is a non profit 501 (c) 3 charitable organization established in 1852 and is one of the nation’s oldest YMCA’s. The YMCA for Youth Development: Nurturing the potential of every child and teen, for Healthy Living: Improving the nation’s health and well-being, for Social Responsibility: Giving back and providing support to our neighbors.  In 2010 the YMCA of Greater Hartford served more than 111,000 people, including 66,000 children, in 52 towns and cities throughout the Capital Region. YMCA programs put the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility into practice to build healthy spirit, mind and body for all participants

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