A switch to “cross-ice hockey,” and a boost in registration for five to eight-year-old hockey players means more goalie gear is needed, prompting teenagers from the Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Association (SCMHA) to fundraise on their younger peers’ behalf.
Hockey Canada rules recently changed to mandate that tyke and novice divisions, or players aged five to eight, compete the width of a rink rather than use the standard size. While doing so doubles the number of games that can be played on a rink at one time, it also puts a demand on the number of goalie uniforms needed, said Melissa Trip, director with the SCMHA.
The association is also seeing higher numbers of youngsters entering the sport. Combined, it’s putting a strain on gear that’s already wearing out.
“That age group and our female program is growing and so that’s creating a demand for the gear,” Tripp said. The SCMHA provides the gear, which can cost up to $600 per uniform.
To solve the problem, players from the Bantam A1 team, who are between 12 and 15 years old, and their families have teamed up with the association to organize a fundraiser this Sunday at the 101 Brewhouse. Tickets cost $25 and cover a beer and burger. A silent auction is also planned.
Tripp said it can be a challenge to find goalies, which is why they want to foster an interest in the position among the younger players. This year, the association moved a Bantam player to a Midget C team because they didn’t have any goalies. “You need to grow them early, it’s very important,” Tripp said.
For tickets, sponsorship opportunities and more information about the event, visit the Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Facebook page or contact Rita at firstname.lastname@example.org