Our game continues to be built and delivered on the backs of thousands of volunteers. To them, I extend my sincere thanks to each and every one who selflessly enriched a player’s life this past season. In addition, BC Hockey has exceptional partners like the Vancouver Canucks that have excelled in their commitment to consistently come to the plate to assist developing the game and opportunities throughout the branch.
For those who embraced and supported our transition to a new governance model, my sincere thanks. I believe the path we are on is invariably more productive as was proven this year. I have no doubt it will continue to improve our position in the world of sport choices. As a component of the transition, effective communication will continue as a prime focus to engage all of our membership, sport partners and volunteers.
We must also take pride in the excellence shown in our Above Minor Programs as they continue to thrive as evidenced by a Junior A National and Junior B Western Canada championship last season.
BC Hockey also is an accomplished international host as evidenced in the pride our host communities took in hosting the World U17 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John and the Women’s Worlds in Kamloops. These communities are to be congratulated as wonderful models of how to provide a worldclass event. The exceptional educational opportunities that took place along with these events will no doubt help grow the game. That said we also prove annually how well we can showcase communities and hockey with our own Branch Championships, the pride of BC Hockey.
The 2016 AGM in Sun Peaks saw critical decisions made toward keeping BC Hockey as the premiere sport leader in British Columbia and the Yukon. I am honored to Chair an organization that puts such high importance in protecting their participants. Our members are to be congratulated for the way we protect our game participants, parents, coaches and officials. The AGM also clarified the need to collaborate more to meet the needs of today’s player as we compete for their registration. The messaging from Tom Renney clearly emphasized the need to plan local operations as thoroughly as the participants deserve. Adjustments to the changing sport landscape are a challenge we must face together and recognize that doing business simply needs us to adapt. The adjustments to the way we do business at the branch level, also needs to be reflected in the way we provide our programming at the district and local levels.
The Hockey Canada launch of a refreshed Initiation Program is a great example of doing business better based on research of what is best for the player. Parents want their child to be involved in a sport that adheres to scientific data to verify the development model the sport will use. The Long Term Player Development Model will become more of a focus in the future not only at IP but is foundational to all levels of our programming. This will provide the best experience for the players and will be reflected in retention rates. Canada has been the world leader in hockey and to remain we need to adhere to the principles now be accepted throughout the world.
As we move forward, we need to trust and listen to each other. We need to grow our game and grow our volunteer base by proving we are the best choice sport a parent can make for their child today and for the future. I have always believed hockey to be the conduit for us to develop good athletes and respected citizens
BC Hockey Chair of the Board