Cowichan T-Birds aim to grow female ice hockey

Continuing their mission of growing female ice hockey, the Cowichan Secondary School girls team is hosting Hockey Day in Cowichan

Continuing their mission of growing female ice hockey in the Cowichan Valley, the Cowichan Secondary School girls team is hosting Hockey Day in Cowichan on Feb. 15.

“What we wanted to do was to get a bit of an event organized to try and draw more girls to the game,” T-Birds head coach Mike Moroz said. “We’ve had a great year in terms of getting girls into the game and getting girls back in who had stopped playing.”

The event is scheduled for the Wednesday before Hockey Day in Canada, and the Island Savings Centre ice is booked for 2:15-3:45 p.m. Current players will be on hand to help newcomers go through the paces.

“The plan is to run a series of activities in the hour-and-a-half slot and finish with a mini tournament,” Moroz said.

Young players and hopeful players are encouraged to attend, regardless of what school they go to.

“It’s open to any female players in the Valley, whether they currently play, or they used to play, or if they’ve never played and always wanted to,” Moroz related. “They can hear about the program and get their feet wet.”

The Cowichan Secondary team currently includes 18 girls, including three who had never played before and two who returned to hockey after a few years away from the sport. Most come from Cowichan Secondary, although there are players from Saltspring Island, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Frances Kelsey who practice and play with the team.

“It’s been fantastic,” Moroz said. We have girls from Grade 7 to Grade 12, so it’s a pretty diverse group.”

The T-Birds recently played a road game against Georges P. Vanier in Courtenay, where the school team is the only girls hockey program in the area, and it could be the impetus for creating a female minor hockey team as well.

Other teams in the Island female hockey league are located in Port Hardy, Campbell River, Lake Cowichan, Sooke, Langford, Saanich and Victoria, and Brentwood College School is talking about joining as well.

Anyone interested in attending Hockey Day in Cowichan needs to register in advance. For more information, contact Moroz at mmoroz@sd79.bc.ca