StettlerLocal.com February 5, 2021 @1:13pm
The announcement from Hockey Alberta on February 2 that the 2020/2021 minor hockey season was over was disappointing for many. Hockey Alberta had been in discussions with its Leagues that oversee Tiered, AAA and AA hockey and with the government’s recent announcement for A Path Forward the earliest that teams could be back playing would be March 1.
Stettler Minor Hockey Association President Trevor Speakman said some of the hurdles with all minor hockey associations coming back as early as March 1 would be the capacity for arenas to extend their ice. Smaller hockey associations have already taken their ice out and run on too big of a loss with no income without the ice rental; and with some of them only having four or five teams, they depend on that revenue to operate.
“I’ve been receiving a lot of phone calls and messages from parents inquiring about what’s happening with the year we’re having. It’s unprecedented and everyone is trying to navigate and get through the season as best as we can.” Trevor Speakman, SHMA President
Martyne Nixon, Treasurer and Acting Registrar for Stettler Minor Hockey Association has been working on trying to figure out payments and refunds based on percentages of uses, what’s come in for revenue and costs that members are going to be happy with.
The 2020/21 hockey season was a short one starting last September and running for eight weeks before the facilities were shut down due to the pandemic restrictions. SMHA had been waiting since mid-November last year to hear from Hockey Alberta.
At one point they were allowed to play hockey in a non-enhanced zone, which was the smaller, rural associations. Now those rinks don’t have ice to play on. SMHA has never experienced anything like this previously and with a minor sports program, you want to keep everyone safe as possible and navigate on facility closures and restrictions.
“When you have over 300 people in your program, many people have questions. Everyone wants equality. I am definitely pro sport and kids being active and healthy. There is so much behind the scenes, a program that survives this, and a facility. We are fortunate to have a rec centre, and it’s still a worry for us and what’s best for our facility. Hopefully even with the hurdles we’ve had, we hope the members come back and don’t quit. SMHA wants kids to play and come back. We want to follow the rules and guidelines that are set in place for us.”
For more information on Stettler Minor Hockey Association and refunds for the season, visit http://stettlerminorhockey.com/article/63641
Hockey Alberta is the governing body for minor hockey and the minor hockey associations operate under their bylaws. For more information on the announcement, visit https://www.hockeyalberta.ca/news/recent/aaa-aa-tiered-league-games-concluded-2020-21-season-1321/
Jody Craig, Reporter