Why I am reaching out

This is Kevin Sopp and I have transitioned this year from VP to the member-at-large position on the WMHA Board this year.

One of the responsibilities I have taken on is to be the Communications Coordinator for the Association, which is a role required under the Hockey Canada and BC Hockey COVID-19 return to play guidelines.

This will be the first of several regular updates to keep members informed on the many changes to the upcoming season resulting from the COVID-19 health emergency. We will also be having a town hall later this month to be scheduled for August 24,2020.

Current Updates

Season start date

As we are one of the lucky communities to have ice ready to go in Meadow Park, we see a developmental based return to hockey starting the week of September 14.

The earliest we see any team structures occurring will be mid October. This will encompass all A, C, and The Bears zone program. We do expect to hear more details from PCAHA in the next week or two regarding competition schedules and will update you as we hear more.

Please register now

We need YOU TO REGISTER by Aug 24, 2020 so we can get our hard numbers with which we can establish our developmental based schedule and a fair allocation of ice. Initially there will be a $25 administration fee, followed by three additional payments over the course of the hockey year. The first payment will be due the week of September 1, 2020. Players will not be allowed on the ice unless their first installment payment has been made.

Return to play plan and COVID-19 safety plan

Our association was ahead of the game in getting our first draft of a Return to Play plan prepared in late May, since then, new guidance has been issued by Hockey Canada, BC Hockey and the RMOW which will require that we update and add more detailed information to our plan. As mentioned, the return to play will initially be a development program. Jeremy Robb, our development coordinator, has been busy securing specialized coaches to work with our players. We expect to have a revised plan draft available from our website within the next week or two.

At this point we don’t expect we will have Tim Knight leading our development charge to the same degree we had last year as Tim has accepted a hockey coaching job with the North East Chiefs of the AAA major bantam league. (Please note that this doesn’t affect whether Tim would or would not coach on of the Zone teams.) We would like to THANK Tim for his dedication to the association over the last couple of years and we wish him all the success in his new position.

Zone update

We expect there will be a Sea to Sky Bears team this year as there was last year in both the U15 (Bantam) and U18 (Midget) divisions. The WMHA Board has specified a number of requirements for the program this year based on member input, including the requirement of A2 teams to avoid oversubscribed house teams, budget transparency, independent selections and coordination of discipline. Both Squamish Minor Hockey Association and The PCAHA have both signed onto and agreed to these conditions. BC Hockey has provided its preliminary approval, and we expect to receive formal BC Hockey Board approval later this week.

A special THANKS to Outgoing Board members

Rob Friesen. Thanks for all your efforts securing coaches for our teams, the countless trips to Squamish working on coaching contracts, and liaising with SDZ coaches and our board.

Claire Mozes. Thanks for your wisdom, guidance, and input in your roll as secretary for the association. Especially when it came to advice on options to make our non-profit association better.

Kari Gaudet. Thanks all the hours you have put in registering our members. Learning new systems, answering countless emails, and doing all you could to get players and coaches on the ice.

Emma Bayliffe. Thanks for your behind the scenes work with all the grant applications/writing, the organizing of the soft goods orders, and your meaningful comments at the board meetings.

Kerri Stewart. Thanks for being the glue in keeping everything together and moving forward. Constantly going above and beyond to make sure association business was taken care of.

Rob Palm. Thanks for being you. Your attention to detail as the treasurer, the hours you spent as the coach, and all the time spent moving forward the share draw zone/joint teams with Squamish

Thanks for reading,
Kevin Sopp

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