The Juan deFuca Midget girls’ team spent the end of 2017 in Montana, playing an outdoor tournament. (Black Press file photo)

Victoria Minor Hockey Association looking to make girls fall in love with hockey

The association will run an all-girls hockey program in January

The Victoria Minor Hockey Association is looking to help young girls fall in love with hockey.

Through the Canadian Tire First Shift program, the association will give 45 girls between the ages of six and 10 the chance to get their own hockey gear and practice on the ice for six weeks in January.

Nicki Reich is the vice president of the Victoria Minor Hockey Association and said there has been a crisis in getting girls’ hockey teams together. She said the goal of this program is to get young girls interested in hockey so that they’ll hopefully stick with the sport in the future.

READ MORE: WATCH: Playing in the great outdoors

“The hope is that we get 45 new girls to try hockey and fall in love with the sport,” Reich said.

The association is currently running a First Shift program that is co-ed. Out of the 45 kids enrolled, nine are girls. That means they make up 20 per cent of the program.

Reich said that number is a good sign and shows there is interest in girls hockey. She said many girls might just be intimidated when it comes to trying the co-ed program.

“In tho co-ed program we saw there were multiple girls who signed up as a group because I think it just removes the intimidation factor of doing a co-ed program,” Reich said.

The all-girls program will have all-female coaches and mentors on the ice as well.

READ MORE: Women’s hockey not dead yet, says minor hockey coach

Dave Saunders, a long-time coach of the Juan De Fuca Minor Hockey female program, said the number of girls playing hockey fluctuates over time.

“Sometimes there’s a lot of interest and sometimes it goes in cycles,” Saunders said. “If you have interested, great volunteers you see that cycle go up. When they age out of the sport the cycle goes down if there’s no succession path.”

Saunders has coached for 16 years and played hockey himself. His daughters have played hockey since they were children and continue to do so. He said once girls get on the ice, they’re not intimidated by the sport and for those that stick with it, they feel a great sense of camaraderie amongst their teammates.

“I think it’s great that First Shift is including girls to play hockey,” Saunders said. “Anything anybody can do to encourage young females to play hockey…it builds lifelong relationships and it’s really good for them.”

Reich said girls will get fitted for the program on Jan. 14, 2019.

They will receive head-to-toe Bauer equipment including all protective gear, skates, a stick, hockey bag and a jersey. Bauer will be sending experts to Victoria to help fit the girls for their gear.

Reich said there is a $200 cost that covers the gear and six weeks of lessons with one session a week. She said it’s an inexpensive way for parents to see if their daughter might be interested in the sport.

Registration is open now on a first-come, first-serve basis. More details can be found here.

“We just want more girls in hockey, period,” Reich said.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

Sidney builds community resilience through neighbourhood gatherings

Meet Your Street needs residents to create gatherings, safe interactions

Langford racing enthusiast back in driver’s seat of life after surviving aggressive cancer

70-year-old David Smith finishes mid-pack in Canada 200 race at Western Speedway

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Most Read