SUBMITTED PHOTO                                The Tri-Port Intro Girls team has some fun posing for a photo during their Christmas Party.

SUBMITTED PHOTO The Tri-Port Intro Girls team has some fun posing for a photo during their Christmas Party.

Community support keeps girls hockey alive on the North Island

“A successful program depends on community engagement and support.”

Female minor hockey received a $5,200 grant this year, which will be used to benefit “all female hockey players on the North Island, not just those in the female hockey program,” says Tri-Port Female Minor Hockey Coordinator Lisa Brown.

Back in May, Brown submitted an application for a gaming grant by attaching a link to a North Island Gazette article which described the growth of female hockey on the North Island, and pointed to it as “why we needed the funding,” said Brown. “It worked.”

While female minor hockey numbers are on the rise on the North Island, this is in stark contrast to comments made in September of this year by Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association President Jim Humphrey, who stated to the media that “Girls’ hockey on the Island is going extinct.”

Humphrey went on to say, “More girls quit than go play integrated hockey”, and that “Not every female can play male hockey and not every female wants to play male hockey. So what do you do with those girls that don’t want to play with the boys? Right now all we can tell them is ‘sorry, unless something changes you can’t play hockey’ and that’s a sad thing.”

Meanwhile, here on the North Island, volunteers are busy working hard to prove Humphrey wrong, says Brown, adding they are putting in the time year-round to help increase the number of girls playing the sport within the Tri-Port Minor Hockey Association, which they are definitely seeing success with.

Brown credits the growth to the amazing community support received from the North Island.

“A successful program depends on community engagement and support, and we are seeing that on many different fronts,” she said, adding that when the Tri-Port region recently moved to having a stand-alone program focused on female hockey, the key focus areas identified were recruitment, development and retention. “Out of this we’ve been running an intro to hockey group, which has 24 girls this year, most new to hockey, and a bantam/midget team. We also hosted a female hockey camp in July, and hope to expand on the development piece moving forward.”

Brown thinks the huge amount of community support they have received so far all started with the Tri-Port executive, who were willing to look outside the box to help find an approach that worked for North Island girls.

She added that all the local businesses were more than willing to chip in, helping finance jerseys, team jackets “and much-needed goalie gear for the program. We regularly get approached by individuals asking how they can help — we’ve actually had sets of goalie gear donated by families, along with regular player gear.”

Brown said they have one volunteer, Tricia Ewen, whose daughter is now playing integrated hockey, “but she still volunteers for the female program because she’s so passionate about it.”

Brown confirmed she is not worried at all that girls hockey will go extinct. “We have a whole community behind us,” she said. “I’m confident that we’re going to see more and more girls playing hockey on the North Island thanks to the great support we’ve seen from everybody.”

Just Posted

Black Press Media file
Port Hardy RCMP on the hunt for porta-pottie arsonist

The porta-potties were lit on fire early in the morning on June 13

Eke Me-Xi students enjoy a field trip to Malcolm Island. (Submitted photos)
Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre takes field trip to Malcolm Island

Once at Bere Point, students made themselves at home in the day-use area

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Photos displayed at a vigil for former Nanaimo outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found June 3 and whose death RCMP are investigating as a homicide. (News Bulletin photo)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

Most Read