A minor hockey coach says women’s hockey is alive and well on the South Island. (File photo)

A minor hockey coach says women’s hockey is alive and well on the South Island. (File photo)

Women’s hockey not dead yet, says minor hockey coach

Dave Saunders says there’s a lot of support to keep sport going

If you think women’s hockey is dying on Vancouver Island – don’t tell Dave Saunders.

Recently there has been doubt about the future of women’s hockey on Vancouver Island, but others are feeling the exact opposite.

Saunders, who has coached in the Juan De Fuca Minor Hockey female program for 15 years, believes women’s hockey is still flourishing.

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“I will state very clearly that girls hockey will not die on Vancouver Island, nor will it go extinct,” Saunders said.

He said there are a tremendous amount of female minor and adult players that are currently playing that won’t let the sport go away.

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“There are simply, way too many incredible volunteers that have put so many years into improving opportunities for female hockey players and continue to do so that to let the above happen is just not an option,” he said.

Saunders said in his experience with many sporting associations, he believes there is not enough succession planning done to ensure that a younger volunteer base is coming in as the older volunteers and players age out of the minor program.

Earlier this year, the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association proposed that all female players must play on a girls teams first, before joining co-ed teams. The proposal was voted down.

dawn.gibson@sookenewsmirror.com