Ivanka Trump presents ‘National Youth Sports Strategy’ at Fort Dupont Ice Arena with Tom Wilson and John Carlson

Thursday morning at Fort Dupont Ice Arena, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and advisor to and daughter of the President, Ivanka Trump, presented the Trump Administration’s National Youth Sports Strategy.

According to Azar, the strategy will give “$6.7 million in grants to 18 organizations in 13 states as part of [their] youth in sports initiative.”

Azar then thanked the NHL and Monumental Sports and Entertainment for their support of youth programs. The Nationals’ youth baseball academy and Fort Dupont Ice Arena, both of which support underserved youth in the D.C. area, will be two of the strategy’s financial recipients.

In attendance from the Capitals’ organization were players Tom Wilson and John Carlson, mascot Slapshot, former Capital and current color analyst Craig Laughlin. Neal Henderson, co-founder of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club and recent US Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, was also present.

According to the Department of Health, the Strategy will offer “actionable strategies” and be a “resource for policymakers and key decision-makers in youth sports. It aims to unite U.S. youth sports culture around a shared vision: that one day, all young people will have the opportunity, motivation, and access to play sports — regardless of their race, ethnicity, sex, ability, or ZIP code.”

The Hill, a website that covers politics and policy, was also documenting the event. Alex Azar thanked Ivanka Trump for her “leadership and multifaceted work to improve the lives of American children.”

Laughlin interviewed Hall of Famer-er Pat LaFontaine about the event during the intermission of Wednesday night’s preseason game against the St. Louis Blues. “[T]wo years ago, we launched the Declaration of Principles and that was the global hockey community coming together on our values,” LaFontaine said.

“Putting a stake in the ground and saying this is who we are. It wasn’t just the highest levels… And really our values and principles make us who we are. What was exciting was that no one has done that in sports. The hockey world globally signed on.”

Staff writer for NHL.com William Douglas reported that as part of Thursday’s event LaFontaine was named as the liaison between the Board of Directors for the congressionally chartered nonprofit, the National Fitness Foundation, and the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition.

The connection with the NHL was visible as well as ideological. Video from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ live feed of the event shows the participants walking out on a red carpet emblazoned with “Washington Capitals,” with the podium resting on the Weagle’s head.