LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In an effort to help young girls in the Las Vegas valley get started in hockey, a partnership between the Vegas Golden Knights and Bauer Hockey launched an Empowered program on June 4.

The eight-week program has 30 girls from the ages of 5-12 who will learn the fundamentals of hockey. Two-time U.S. Olympic medalist in hockey, Megan Keller, was at Henderson’s Lifeguard Arena for the first lesson.

“I wasn’t really exposed to girls in hockey until I was in middle school and I saw the Olympics on TV for the first time,” she said.

Bauer Hockey contributed $20,000 worth of equipment which included skates, sticks, bags, and jerseys for the girls.

There is an effort to increase the number of females in the sport. Since the VGK team launched six years ago, participation by females has gone up 681% in Nevada, according to USA Hockey.

It’s hoped the program will be offered again next year.