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

Just Posted

Former runaway teen helps find missing youths through social media

Alex Meikle created the Facebook group Greater Victoria Missing & Runaway Teens

Character of the community revealed in new Oak Bay track mural

Artist Luke Ramsey marches along with latest public work

Victoria offers $63,000 in grants to build better neighbourhoods

Grants are up to $5,000 for placemaking projects and up to $1,000 for activities

Candidate Corner: Cowichan-Malahat-Langford hopefuls talk environment and climate change

This is part one of a four-part series outlining candidates’ thoughts on key topics

Cloudy skies, showers ahead for Monday

Plus a look ahead at your week

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Andrew Berry trial nears end, Victoria joins tree-planting pledge and more

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Give severely addicted drug users injectable medical-grade heroin, guideline says

CMAJ article outlines best practices for innovative treatment that’s been lacking in overdose crisis

B.C. court hears disclosure arguments in Meng Wanzhou case

Huawei exec argues she was unlawfully detained at YVR last December at direction of U.S. authorities

Trudeau attacks Scheer, Harper, Ford in first federal salvo for Ontario

Liberal leader targets three big conservative rivals in second full week of campaign

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Most Read