Girls hockey emerges in Saanich

Saanich minor hockey girls program growing steadily

The growth of girls hockey has the Saanich Braves Minor Hockey Association moving forward with its girls years ahead of schedule.

This year Saanich is icing two girls teams, atom (9-10) and peewee (11-12), and may be adding bantam (13-14) next year.

“The original plan was to start with a skills development program in the first year and then add new teams every year or two, with a goal of having teams in all the divisions from atom to midget (15-16) by 2020,” said Ian Fleetwood, SMHA’s new director of female hockey.

“Prior to August 2014 all we had was a plan, but no players.  Then we had 11 girls start playing hockey last season.

It’s a year ahead of schedule for the peewee team and would be two years ahead of schedule for the bantam, Fleetwood said. There are also more girls than ever in the Braves novice age (7-8), a mixed level with the boys, a result he thinks is because they know there’s a girls team waiting for them as they age up.

The lack of infrastructure for girls hockey is strange for Fleetwood, who arrived here from Nova Scotia three years ago. Not only is it well established there, Fleetwood knows of entire leagues and associations dedicated to girls in Ontario.

“When I came here, I just kept hearing that there were no girls who wanted to play hockey, when in fact the problem was really just that there were no teams for them to play on.”

A few girls played on integrated teams with boys, about a dozen sprinkled from atom (four) up to midget (one) and so on, but not enough to make a team. Those girls often end up being the only girl on the team.

“They need to go sit in a different dressing room to get ready and miss out on a lot of the socializing and camaraderie that goes on before and after a hockey game. With all the girls in the same room, they make friends quickly and have a lot more fun. I think they learn the game faster in this environment.”

As healthy as things are at the moment, Fleetwood said there’s still room on the girls teams for new players who want to join this season.

Fleetwood coaches on the ice with, Maegan Thompson, Jennie Tuttle and Phoenix Lawery, all with great hockey knowledge and skills.

The Braves also get help from previous grads, such as Shayla MacDonald and Mickeely Rippin, who graduated from Braves boys teams into the local girls rep team, the South Island Royals.

Players interested in signing up with Saanich Minor Hockey Association can visit saanichminorhockey.com.

 

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Remember Spunky? Santa came out to Sidney to check on him

Red-tailed Hawk made headlines last year after being stolen, raised by eagles

MISSING: 59-year-old Pamela Fletcher

Fletcher was last seen in the area near Royal Jubilee Hospital on Dec. 10

Mainroad South Island reminds drivers to keep them in the loop

Call the hotlines for concerns on local provincial highways

Hockey gear stolen from visiting team in Victoria

Banff midget team reported missing equipment on Dec. 14

Custom motorcycle and wood cutter stolen from Sooke motorcycle shop

2006 Husqvarna motorcycle and 2-ton log splitter taken from outbuilding

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Woman guilty of impaired driving in death of Vancouver Island pedestrian

Man in his 70s killed in 2016 Courtenay multi-vehicle incident

Most Read