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

Oak Bay wins Vancouver Island basketball championship

Third-place NDSS will get to challenge second place Claremont for a berth in provincials

Hundreds of wax figures find new life in Saanich man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Peninsula Eagles will host Midget T2 provincial championships

Provincial championships will take place at Panorama Recreation March 15 to 19

UPDATED: Hit and run results in damaged fire hydrant, flooding on Richmond Road

Registered owner issued $360 ticket, responsible for repair costs

Saanich’s senior race car driver not slowing down

Bill Okell kicks off 2020 season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California on Feb. 21

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Most Read