A Salute to Minor Hockey Week and our Players
Pass Herald Reporter
This Minor Hockey Week, we look at the growth and change the Crowsnest Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) has seen over the past few seasons. The Crowsnest Pass Thunder U-11 home tournament on January 21 and 22 will mark the extent of Minor Hockey Week activities according to Kyla Cytko, President of the Crowsnest Pass Minor Hockey Association (CPMHA).
“We don’t have special activities planned this week, aside from our usual practices and games,” said Cytko. According to Cytko, they have worked hard over the last few seasons to increase the participants they have within the club, now icing 65 skaters with the help of reduced fees.
“This season we offered $50 registration for all of our levels and normally they would pay anywhere from $200 to $300 to play,” explained Cytko.
With the travel involved with playing hockey, a big focus for the CPMHA has been making sure that hockey is accessible for families without them having to give up other winter activities.
“We’re trying to find a good balance of not having hockey take up every single weekend of your entire winter for your family, so we’re pretty proud of the growth that we’ve seen in the last few seasons," said Cytko
Coming out of the last three seasons which were drastically affected by COVID, Cytko reflected on the changes they have been able to make in a return to normalcy.
“With there being no pov-vincial restrictions on the facility, the concession or masking, this is our first season that feels like pre-COVID. Where families are allowed to watch the practices, they’re allowed to stay in the arena... Our coaches aren’t masking while they’re skating with the kids on the ice then. It’s been really refreshing coming back to play hockey how we used to before COVID,” said Cytko.
Aside from the refreshing changes this season has brought, it has been business as usual for the CPMHA. This week they put on an equipment swap. Three tables were set up with hockey and figure skating equipment. The swap is open to the public with all equipment available free of charge.
“The swap is just another way to share what our families have, to re-move that expense of having a growing kid and having to replace pieces of equipment,” explained Cytko,
Cytko acknowledged how lucky the community is to have such a great facility and that the club is fortunate to have ideal ice time.