2017-18 A Year in Review, News (Waterloo Ravens Girls Minor Hockey Association )

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2017-18 A Year in Review
Submitted By WGMHA on Saturday, July 7, 2018
WGMHA Annual meeting was held June 13, 2018. We recognized our Robert Hennig Scholarship recipients - Maddie Fellows and Katelyn Israel, celebrated the many, many, many accomplishments of our Ravens players, paid tribute to the countless volunteer hours put into running our Association and heard about plans for the future. From the President's address........

2017-18 Year in Review

What happens when over 650 players and 1300 parents get together in September of each year.   

Let me tell a story

The story actually begins in January with Coaching Selection, Spring-Try outs, Fall Try-outs, and Fall Evaluations preseason exhibition games and the like...

Once through all of that we then come up with

·          43 amazing teams (Learn to Skate through to KW Rangers)

·          43 passionate, skilled Coaches

·          43 dedicated, caring Coaching Staffs putting in 10,000+ hours over the course of the season

·          Over 1000 hockey games played and numerous hours in practice time

·          Countless hours of volunteer time from parents, siblings, grandparents and friends to help

·          11 teams qualifying for Provincials - 1 Silver Medal- Peewee BB

·          1 team making it to LLFHL Championship weekend

·          Three successful tournaments – Fall Challenge Cup, US Canada Cup and the Waterloo Cup

·          Many, many Bantam, Midget and Intermediate aged Ravens generously giving of their time to mentor, coach and encourage their junior Raven sisters

·          2 more Ravens joining the ranks of Officials – taking the number to 13 female officials in the Waterloo system

Accomplishments are measured not by wins alone. More importantly are player development, having fun and enjoying the sport of hockey are the key measures of our success.

I think you will agree that we have accomplished all four over the season.

Resulting in great ending to my story and an outstanding year for all involved!

The Sport of Female Hockey continues to grow. Our numbers as an Association are holding steady - there are some challenges with the younger age groups. Our healthy rivalry with the surrounding associations continues. We learn from each other, share with each other and try to find ways to work together all for the betterment of our sport.

We had 81 players in our Learn to Skate and Rookie Ravens programs, many of whom this was their first season. 

A focus on encouraging girls to try hockey will be important for us going forward.

We are seeing more Ravens continue playing hockey after they have graduated high school and university. Many are playing intramural hockey and or varsity hockey at University or College. We continue to offer two strong Senior Tournament teams made up of former Ravens now in the workforce.

In addition, we have a number of returning Ravens either as Head Coaches or Assistant Coaches for our Rep and House League teams next season.

Truly a testament to what its all about!

Moving Forward

Unfortunately bullying continues to be a problem not only for our Association but for the sport in general. Raising awareness and helping coaches, players and volunteers address the issues before they get out of hand will be a key focus for the Board this coming season.

Concussion management continues to be an issue. Just before the election, Rowan’s Law was passed. Through this Law new requirements for concussion management and safe return to play will be introduced. This is not just a law for hockey, it is a law for all sports. Recognition and encouraging safe return to play practices have been well supported by Ravens players, parents and coaches.

Player and Coaching Development will be a focus for us next season again. Key to the success of our organization is encouraging girls to try hockey, players to grow, develop and want to continue playing hockey. In order for our players to grow and thrive, we also must invest time and energy into developing and supporting our coaching staffs.

To encourage and support age appropriate development of players at young ages, Hockey Canada has introduced new rules for 6-year olds for 2018-19 and will be introducing changes for 7 and 8-year olds in 2019-20.

Effective 2018-19, 6-year olds will be playing cross ice. We have been and will continue to work with surrounding Associations to implement the new programs in a manner that continues to encourage girls to get into hockey.

Effective the 2019-20 season 7 and 8-year olds will be playing half ice. Needles to say this will require significant changes to the Novice programs. Guidance is being provided by both Hockey Canada and the OWHA on how to effectively implement the changes. Haley Baxter, a former Raven and Coach this past season has offered to be working with Dwayne Orth and our Development Committee in getting us ready.

We plan to hold information sessions in the fall for new parents to hockey, parents currently in our system who have players turning 7 and 8 and really anyone interested in understanding the new programming.

As you know we have just completed our 17th year. Our vision, mission and values continue to serve us well. We signalled at last year’s AGM that we would be looking at our strategic direction and where we want to head over the next three to five years.

Thank you to all who provided input through out survey. The Board has been working hard to refine the strategic priorities for Vision 2022. The three Priorities envisioned are:

·       Sport Performance,

·       Sport Development and

·       Financial Stewardship.

In the Fall, we hope to hold information sessions/town halls to provide opportunities to your thoughts and ideas about the priorities.

We are excited about sharing with players, parents, coaches and other supporters the ideas and suggestions you have given us which we believe will move us to the next level.

The Board

Keeping an Association moving forward takes many hands.  As a volunteer run organization many, many, many hours given graciously above and beyond everyone’s “day job”.

Over the course of the season challenges do come up as we all know.  Each challenge was addressed as quickly as possible always keeping in mind what’s in the best interest of the players and the Association as a whole. Parent liaisons were established for most teams. Lisa Haller, Director Concerns and Supports credits the work of these volunteers to ensure that issues were dealt with at the team level as quickly as possible.  Thank you to those who stepped up.

When I asked the Board their hopes for the future resoundingly they mentioned:

·       Continue to focus on fun and skill development at all levels

·       Continue to support players to develop as team players,  grow as leaders and understand the importance of volunteerism

·       Seek new ways to encourage and support volunteers

·       Seek new sponsorships and grants to help keep our fees at a reasonable level

Thank you to the 2017-18 Board of Directors many of whom had taken on their roles for the very first time. Did we get everything right, no. Were our intentions positive – yes. Did we give it our best as volunteers – ABSOLUTELY.

My heartfelt thanks to Robert, Pat, Lisa, Laura, Peter, Susan, Geoff, Kevin, Kevin, Jen, Ingar, Dwayne and Sonshine, for always giving your best “For the Kids, For Game, For the Fun of It”.

Special thank you as well to our terrific “behind the scenes” support-

Kelly Barton – Ice Scheduler; Janis Eden- Bookkeeper; Lynn Mrakava- Admin Assistant; Shad Lusted- Web Master; Kevin Matsui- HL Convenor and Vickie Hennig- Tournament Registration.

You all are what keeps this Association going.

2017-18 is now behind us, planning is well underway for 2018-19.

Have a wonderful summer and we look forward to seeing you back in September!


Sandra Hanmer

President WGMHA

“For the Kids, For the Game, For the Fun”

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