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 Reynolds Secondary student identified as victim in fatal crash

The 19-year-old man killed in a crash at the intersection of Union… Continue reading

New wing opens at Victoria International Airport

The 19,000 sq. ft. passenger lounge can hold up to 500 people

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Victoria puppy dies after consuming poisonous mushrooms

A chocolate lab turned in to the Victoria Humane Society died Thursday morning

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

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

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

VIDEO: Tempers flare during Sagmoen’s police interview

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

B.C. Premier John Horgan worried about ‘rise of racism’

Asked to comment on Justin Trudeau’s ‘blackface’ incidents

Human case of West Nile virus reported on Vancouver Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported in August

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

Most Read