The much-hoped-for news of the city of Santa Clarita’s recent acquisition of the Ice Station Valencia was met with a very enthusiastic response from the community, whose residents are eager to see its re-opening in 2021.
Perhaps the most fervent enthusiasts are the members of SNAP Sports, an SCV-based nonprofit organization offering sports-based programming to athletes with special needs, and the parent organization of the Valencia SNAP Flyers Special Hockey Club. SNAP Sports also provides developmental ice skating, flag football, running, and cheerleading.
In tandem to this exciting news, SNAP Sports is announcing a new chapter in the leadership of the organization. Veteran SNAP volunteer coaches Chris Schrage and Heidi Jeffrey have accepted positions as co-executive directors of SNAP Sports, and will share the responsibility of day-to-day operations, shaping its future, and maintaining its history, while fulfilling SNAP’s mission to serve the special needs community of Santa Clarita.
Jeffrey and Schrage will take the reigns from Dave Chase, one of SNAP’s co-founders, and the executive director since the non-profit’s inception. Chase was responsible for all facets of the organization’s growth and development, and he is excited to share his experience and knowledge with the new generation SNAP leadership. Chase will remain on board as SNAP Sports president, focusing on special projects.
Schrage joined SNAP Sports in 2013 as a volunteer ice hockey coach for the Valencia SNAP Flyers, and has grown into leadership roles for the ice hockey and developmental skating programs, becoming head hockey coach in 2019. Among his contributions, he served as a peer chaperone when the team traveled twice to international tournaments in Canada. In addition, his work with the Chamber of Commerce has been instrumental in fostering SNAP’s rapid growth, by developing key relationships within the community.
Schrage began his career at LBW Insurance and Financial Services in 2011, and currently serves as its Commercial Risk Control Specialist. Prior to completing his BS at Cal State Long Beach, he attended College of the Canyons where he served as the president and captain of the hockey team. Schrage went on to become both an assistant coach and head coach with that program. He volunteers with a variety of non-profits throughout the Santa Clarita valley including the Michael Hoefflin Foundation. Schrage served on the executive board of directors of the Valley Industry Association, and currently holds positions on the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce executive board, and as the chair of NextSCV.
Jeffrey initially became a volunteer parent with SNAP Sports three years ago when she enrolled her now 11 year-old, autistic son to participate in SNAP’s ice programs. Since then, she has developed the critical leadership skills and experience needed to transition into the co-executive director position. She currently serves in multiple roles: as SNAP’s Developmental/Adaptive Ice Skating director, Ice Hockey coach, and member of SNAP’s executive and advisory committees. An SCV resident for nine years, Jeffrey started her professional career in 2011 as a Senior Mailing List Broker for the Di-rect Mail and Internet Marketing for Mailers Haven here in Santa Clarita.
Coincidentally, both Jeffrey and Schrage are past recipients of the Jaycees International (JCI) 40 under Forty award, recognizing excellence in Santa Clarita’s young leaders.
“SNAP Sports will be well stewarded by Heidi and Chris, who have tirelessly given of their time and talents to support our organization,” says Dave Chase, president of SNAP Sports. “Since 2012, we have been gratified to work with an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers who champion our athletes year after year. The leadership, passion and creative vision that Heidi and Chris possess will poise SNAP to positively grow and evolve for many years to come.”
In the coming months, Jeffrey and Schrage will navigate the post-Covid landscape for SNAP Sports, and look to reintroduce a robust slate of programs for the organization’s participants.
For more information about SNAP Sports, visit www.snaphockey.org.
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About SNAP Sports
SNAP Sports provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to engage in a variety of sports-based activities. Our athletes often shatter the notion of commonly held limitations, by accepting the challenge of more complex competitive sports. Players gain confidence and poise while becoming better equipped to manage their individual disabilities. Athletes who participate regularly, routinely develop the essential physical and social skills needed to improve their everyday lives. For more information visit www.snaphockey.org. Follow them on social media at facebook.com/snaphockey, instagram.com/snapsportsinc and twitter.com/snapsportsinc.