Victoria parents are complaining they have to travel to Campbell River and Port Hardy to play all-female rec hockey games. You can read an article about it here (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-island-introduces-controversial-motion-to-encourage-girls-to-play-girls-hockey-1.4130960), but I’m going to dissect it in my editorial this week as best I can.
Jim Humphrey, president of the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association, is quoted in the article saying ”We’re having to make nine- and 10-year-old [all-girl teams] travel from Victoria to Campbell River or Port Hardy on a regular basis just to play a hockey game. That’s what we’re trying to alleviate, because parents have told us loud and clear, they don’t want to travel 600 kilometres just to play a hockey game.”
So Victoria parents don’t want to travel to the North Island ‘just to play a hockey game’, yet the Victoria Ice Hawks rep team comes here to play and I’ve never heard them have an issue with the travel. I’ve never heard the North Island Eagles, who make the exact same trip, complain either. Why should it be any different for the travelling all-female rec league teams? I’m sure someone’s going to chime in with ‘all-female rec league hockey isn’t rep’, but let’s be real here, it gives the girls a chance to play on an all-female travelling team without having to go and tryout for an AAA team. The Tri-Port Wild travel down island to Victoria ‘just to play a hockey game’. I’m sure if you asked the local kids on the teams here, they would tell you one of their favourite things is the time spent on the road bonding with their teammates, parents and coaches.
Bottom line, if your kid wants to play on a travelling hockey team, which is what the all-female rec league is, you should probably support their decision as best you can. It’s called being a parent and showing interest in your child’s life. There’s far worse things your kid could be getting up to in their spare time than playing on a travelling hockey team.
Humphrey is later quoted in the article saying girls playing on co-ed and boys teams is making all-female hockey teams unsustainable.
Unsustainable? Female minor hockey on the North Island is thriving thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Tri-Port Wild and Campbell River Hurricanes organizations. If all-female minor hockey down island is unsustainable, maybe the organizations should hold themselves accountable and spend more time and effort promoting their teams. The Tri-Port Wild get plenty of coverage in the North Island Gazette and will continue to get the same coverage every season so long as I’m around.
The girls work hard, they deserve their spot in the sports pages next to the North Island Eagles.
The article then says VIAHA is planning on having a motion introduced at their annual general meeting that would effectively force the 17 minor hockey associations on Vancouver Island to form a girls team if there are 12 or more females registered in an age group.
The motion would mean all girls would be placed on a girls team first and would have the option of also playing for a co-ed team while only paying a single registration fee.
Humphrey is quoted saying he believes that if the motion is defeated, there’s a good chance female-only hockey for girls under the age of 12 will disappear on Vancouver Island.
All because Victoria parents are complaining about having to travel up here ‘just to play a hockey game’. VIAHA should take a good look at the Tri-Port Wild and the Campbell River Hurricanes organizations to see how all-female hockey teams can thrive without having to force girls to register for the programs.
-Editorial by Tyson Whitney