On Friday, May 6, the Whistler Minor Hockey Association (WMHA) is hosting a hockey demo event for U13 players to help increase interest in the sport in response to registration numbers dropping over the past two years.
One of WMHA’s volunteers Paul Kinnea believes that, in addition to COVID, registration numbers in the lower age groups have declined due to rumours that hockey requires a major time commitment, but “it’s actually no more of a commitment than it is for soccer or baseball,” he said.
“I think the whole concept of having this whole open session is for parents that are curious or on the fence or want to know more to just come along and see a typical coaching session, meet the kids and meet the other parents.”
The demo session will run from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and will consist of last year’s players and coaches on the ice for a coaching session and scrimmage.
U9 players will be on the ice for the first hour followed by the U13 players. Any attendees are welcome to join the on-ice session for free if they have the gear to do so.
For anyone who might be struggling to come up with registration fees or money for equipment, Kinnea will also be sharing info on three different avenues available to help people get involved in hockey.
The first is Whistler Community Services Society’s Kids on the Move program, which provides up to $450 in funding to qualified applicants to help get kids involved in team sports.
The second is WMHA’s intro to hockey program, which, for $50, provides kids with three training sessions where they can meet other kids in the sport, get on the ice and see if they like it.
The third program Kinnea will be promoting is called First Shift, which for $230 provides kids with equipment, an expert session and on-ice training.
Friday’s demo program is open for walk-ins and does not require any sign-up beforehand. However, if anyone is interested in learning more about the event or WMHA in general they are encouraged to email email@example.com.