Ms Crouch visited the Planet Ice MK Arena on a whistle-stop tour of sporting institutions in the town to mark Milton Keynes’ 50th anniversary.
During her visit to the Arena, she watched MKL and Great Britain Head Coach, Pete Russell, lead a lively training exercise on the Olympic-size ice pad with students from Bradwell Village School, based nearby.
The school was one of the first to join Lightning’s Enterprise in Schools scheme, which encourages students to learn about ice hockey.
Every school which takes part receives a significant proportion of the funds they raise in tickets sales, to fund essential educational and recreational supplies.
This season – Lightning’s first in the top tier of ice hockey in the UK – has also seen the signing of a partnership agreement with MK Community Foundation, to help MKL reach and assist even more groups within the local area.
Planet Ice general manager Belinda Bassett said: “Sport England has funded these programmes to help increase the number of people taking part in ice sports regardless of ability, which can only be fantastic news for the local community.”