I would like to share some recent developments in our association.
1) Executive Board Members:
Due to rising costs of ice fees and other costs associated with minor hockey (such as referee fees, NAI league fees, Hockey Alberta team fees, etc.), we found we were in a shortfall of funds. Also due to the current economic situation, our fundraising efforts have seen a decrease in the last few years. The timeframe for casinos has increased and we should be expecting to receive one in the 2020 season. The Oilers 50/50 that we apply for every year is an uncertain event as we compete with other associations that apply for the same opportunity.
We decided to increase the volunteer fee due to a shortfall of volunteers in past events. Therefore, increasing the fee will hopefully encourage members to volunteer for our organization. The new fee has been increased from $150 to $200. If you fulfilled your volunteer hours last season, you will be credited the old fee of $150 but you will still see a fee of $50. This is so all players, whether it be a new or returning player who volunteered or not, will pay the same amount in volunteer fees going forward. We have compared fees among similar organizations and our fees are still lower than average across the board.
3) Ice and Scheduling:
We work with our local Ag Societies who own the arenas where we play. We pay on average 75% less of what outside teams pay. Empty ice is very costly to the Ag Societies, which ends up increasing our fees. We are working with the Ag Societies to meet and forecast ice needs so that they can continue to support our Association with regularly scheduled ice slots.
4) Registration and Team Creation:
One of the hardest things that we as a board are faced with is how many teams we need and how much ice we will use. This has an impact on ice, league schedules, etc. I cannot stress enough about the need to register early. The reason for the late fee penalty is so we have preliminary team numbers early in the summer to help us with ice allocation and scheduling.
5) Intro to Hockey:
For players beginning in Hockey (Initiation and Novice), Hockey Alberta is implementing a new program to stress the FUNdementals of the game. We will have some information sessions for coaches and players in September. If you are looking for more information, please visit Hockey Alberta’s website.
I want to welcome all new and returning players to our association. I also wish the best for local players who are moving onto AA and AAA programs. Please remember that we are a volunteer organization that requires volunteers to run smoothly. We still need a VP and I would encourage anyone, including those who think they are too new to the association, please consider stepping up. You will get the opportunity to learn how the organization operates and get the opportunity to improve it as we go forward. I thank all the previous executive who have created a great organization and framework that I can follow.
In everything, communication is very important. If you want to know what is happening, you are welcome to attend the operations meetings where you have input into our programs. Our first priority is that our children have a safe and fun environment to develop some hockey skills and enjoy the game.