For girls who have considered playing minor hockey, now is the time to give it a shot.
The Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association is making a push to build its female hockey programs, and is hoping to field teams at the atom, bantam and midget levels this coming season, for players between the ages of seven and 17.
Girls anywhere in the Cowichan Valley are welcome to play, regardless of which minor hockey association catchment area they live in, so players who ordinarily fall within the Kerry Park minor hockey region can play for the CVMHA.
Goalies in particular are required for the atom and bantam teams, and the association is committed to developing new players at that position.
“Even if they haven’t played goal before, the CVMHA does a lot of development, especially for goalies,” said Kim Liddle, the manager of the midget female team. “They have set days for goalie development. Our midget goalie last year had never played before, but she went to the development sessions and she was doing fantastic by the end of the year.”
Lots of assistance is available for players. All goalie gear is provided by the CVMHA, and financial assistance is available through Jumpstart, which offers $500 to help out new players, and KidSport Cowichan.
Both of Liddle’s daughters have played hockey, and her youngest is playing for the Cowichan midget team this year, and she has seen lots of benefits for girls who play the sport.
“There’s definitely the friendship side of things,” she said. “There are so many aspects of hockey, not just on the ice, but off the ice, too: team-building, knowing how to win and lose is important for kids.”
The Island Savings Centre is hosting a free Female Hockey Day event this Saturday (Aug. 20) from noon to 1:20 p.m., focusing on introductory skills and game play. Participants require a helmet, gloves, stick and skates, although some equipment is available through the ISC. For more information about the event or to arrange to borrow equipment, call 250-748-7529.
For more information about female hockey programs in the Cowichan Valley, email CVMHA female coordinator Kris Kennedy at email@example.com