The Strathmore Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) has recently held two events to grow girls' hockey in Strathmore and start girls' teams separate from the boys', and now they have their sights set on promoting outside of town too.
Event organizer and one of SMHA's directors Devin Olson is hosting a free skating session for any girls interested in playing hockey. He said girls also need to have the option to play hockey once they start to age out of playing with the boys and hopes events like this draw enough interest to have their own girls' hockey league.
"Once you get to that U11, U9 age the girls didn't really have a lot of options, so they were either quitting or they switched over to ringette or have to travel quite a way like Okotoks if you wanted to continue," he said.
The first two events were focused on Strathmore, and Olson said this third event is inviting people from all surrounding communities like Chestermere, Indus, Siksika, Drumheller, Standard, and more. Having multiple communities involved solves two goals, as Olson wants to give all girls the opportunity to play, and having more girls in the sport also raises the competition level.
"We wanted Chestermere and Indus because we can get a couple of teams in each division. It's just going to make us a stronger program."
Olson said this will most likely be the last free skating event for girls they host until registration begins in June, and from there they may do more events, although that's not confirmed. For now, he said the hope is to host a day camp or something along those lines in July to give the girls a chance to get to know each other and learn more about the sport before they start playing together when the season starts.
The event will take place at the Strathmore Family Centre arena on March 26 at the following times:
- U7-U9 11:15-12:15
- U11-U13 12:30-1:45
- U15-U18 2:00-3:15
Olson asks anyone interested RSVPs at email@example.com. If you don't RSVP, he said you will still be welcome to attend, but RSVPing would help a lot with organization for the SMHA.
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