Yannick Truter, who is looking to develop her hockey career in the United States, skates past the opposition goaltender. Truter has spoken out against the poor treatment female hockey players face on Vancouver Island. (Photo courtesy of Andre Truter)

Governing bodies accused of ‘destroying’ girls’ hockey by Island’s top team

When asked for advice hockey dad says ‘put your girls in soccer’

Some players and parents of the Vancouver Seals hockey team have expressed their anger at Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association (VIAHA) and BC Hockey’s treatment of the team alleging a litany of failings.

Due to the mixed nature of sharing administrative responsibilities, the criticism has been divided between the two organizations.

“I truly believe that BC Hockey is destroying [female] hockey on the Island through their indifference and apathy,” says Seals captain and All-Star Yannick Truter, who is leaving to play in the U.S.

RELATED: Sidney hockey players back on home ice with the Vancouver Island Seals

The Midget AAA Seals are at the highest level of girls hockey on the Island, and draw players from across the rock, relying on the governing bodies to organize ice time. However, VIAHA female member numbers have steadily declined over the past five years, from 390 to 260, in a sport experiencing massive female participation elsewhere in Canada.

Each Seal pays around $7,500 per year to BC Hockey and expects the same level of administrative support the boys’ teams enjoy. These include regular 3.75 hours of ice time per week, convenient practice slots and games scheduled at appropriate times.

They say that none of these expectations were met last season, and without club and parental support, as well as sympathetic local associations and rinks, the team wouldn’t have been able to function.

ALSO READ: Peninsula the launching pad for explosion of women’s sporting talent

Boys teams of a comparable level enjoy multiple practices a week, while the girls usually only get two. As it turned out, VIAHA only provided two practice slots for the entire season and four slots for games. The Seals were forced to lobby for more and had to rely on supplementary sessions at Shawnigan Lake that their manager had booked at the start of the season.

“The ice we were provided was basically just ‘throw away slots’ that nobody wanted because they were in such remote locations at ridiculous times,” explains Truter, saying many players got home after midnight.

The thrill of game night was also ruined, with their games being scheduled for empty rinks on Friday afternoons when fans were at work and the students should have been in school.

Truter says she and her teammates’ development stalled and she calls on BC Hockey to pay back the money they received from the players.

ALSO READ: New P.A.C.E. soccer club shoots for players

When contacted, BC Hockey said they recently undertook a review of programming and developed a female hockey model. They added, “We are encouraged from the positive feedback we have received to the new model and we have several initiatives in progress in our efforts to grow the female game. Our female participants currently make up approximately 10 per cent of our membership and we feel we can grow that number significantly under our model for female hockey.”

VIAHA echoes those sentiments with president Jim Humphrey saying “All of us are hoping that once things get set up we all hope we can attract more females to hockey.”

Truter’s father, Andre, says he is disappointed as the girls have the same aspirations in the game as the boys do.

“This team was supposed to be the flagship for female hockey. Unfortunately, they had to play their games in obscure arenas at obscure times,” he said. “When people here tell me their daughters love hockey and they ask my advice, I tell them ‘put your girls in soccer.’”



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Village Block Party returns to Cook Street

Sunday’s event brings vendors, entertainment and coveted dog race to Victoria’s Cook Street

BC Transit offers high school grads free bus rides

2019 grads can choose two days in June to ride for free

Greater Victoria residents among the most credit-worthy Canadians

Yet debt levels continue to rise as Canadians owe $178 for every $100 earned

Thursday sees mix of sun and cloud, high of 22 C

Plus a look ahead at your weekend forecast

BC business offers ‘clean start’ for people with employment barriers

CleanStart BC is looks to expand its Victoria staff

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

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

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Most Read