As we continue the 100th anniversary celebration of BC Hockey, I would first like to acknowledge the homelands and territories we share with Indigenous peoples across BC and the Yukon. It is also important that we remind ourselves of the incredible contributions of the tireless volunteers and dedicated staff whose efforts make this great game possible. The past 100 years of hockey in BC and the Yukon have left an indelible mark on the lives of all participants. Our past experiences and commitment in keeping hockey the greatest sport in Canada willcontinue to guide us in the future.
We will celebrate this memorable occasion with many activities planned throughout British Columbia and the Yukon. The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship being held in Victoria and Vancouver in December 2018 and January 2019 will bring together excited participants, volunteers and hockey fans, and ‘Celly’, our recently unveiled 100-year mascot will be on the guest list as an added bonus to many scheduled events. In addition to the BC Hockey School Tour that kicks off this October and visits many communities across BC.
Together there is nothing we cannot accomplish. Our goal will be to continue to implement decisions that ensure our programming is based on current data with a direct connection to the national Long Term Athlete Development Model. This will improve the athletic skills of our players and provide clear direction for our coaches, bench staff and officials. Good sportsmanship and respect will continue to be fundamental components in all programming.
We must also stay focused on the safety and well-being of our participants both young and old, and at all levels. Changes to safety must be embraced head-on in order to continue to grow the game and retain players. Over the past two (2) seasons, our youngest athletes have benefited from clearly-defined cross-ice programming that has them touching the puck more often, expanding on their skills and knowledge of the game, and fostering lifelong friendships.
The opportunity to be Chair of the Board is both an honour and a privilege. Working alongside incredible colleagues at the Board level, in partnership with our talented BC Hockey staff, will ensure the success we have become accustomed to. Over the past year while travelling to national meetings and events, it became apparent that our staff is well respected by other Hockey Canada members. The implementation of improved programming and the growth of our game are directly attributable to their efforts and to the support from all of us.
I look forward to sharing our 100th year celebration with you, as we continue to work together in moving our game forward. Working together is the foundation of hockey and a critical component to continued success. Best of luck during this special year, and my sincerest thanks for all you do to keep hockey the best sport!
BC Hockey Chair of the Board