The 2020-21 season is winding down – some teams have already had their last practices and by Sunday we will be done with our ice time and starting to look forward to next season.
This was not the season that any of us wanted to have. We all wanted to have more games. We all wanted to go and watch our friends and our kids play hockey this year. We all wanted to be together and celebrate every achievement. But COVID took that from us this year.
But despite that, the resiliency of PMHA players and parents has shone through. People dealt with the large number of new restrictions and rules – and they changed almost daily early in the season it seemed. Kids got used to wearing masks – teams found innovative ways to get their young kids ready for the ice while maintaining social distancing. People stepped up to provide COVID compliance, and were good about ensuring safety for everyone. I especially want to thank Lisa Sneek for co-ordinating our COVID compliance protocols. We can be proud of our safety record this year and that is thanks to everyone working together.
I want to also say something to our graduating players this year. Kids that have been playing for PMHA for up to 12 or 13 seasons. This was not the way it should have ended – and I know it’s not fair. But I want to acknowledge that all of you understood the situation the whole world was in and have made the best of it. That strength will serve you well as you move into adulthood.
For all the coaches, who made three metre social distancing on the ice work – who kept the kids entertained and improved their skills at the same time – know that you have made a difference this year. When so many have been shut in, you were able to help kids open up and have fun. We’re providing a small token of appreciation this year – but you have done so much more.
For all the managers, safeties and COVID compliance people who made sure everyone was following the rules – and what the rules actually were – and who kept interest high and people informed – thank you (also check your e-mails for information on jersey returns – your job is not done yet).
For all the parents that kept bringing their kids to practice – even knowing they’d never get to see it – thank you for putting your faith in us.
For the people behind the scenes – like Martin Oates, who had to reschedule ice times at the drop of a hat, and made sure we used the ice we were allocated – like Lindsey Ward, who made sure that everyone on the ice had the qualifications to be there. To all the board members that put in hours making things run smoothly and the division managers that made sure information was given out quickly and correctly, know that your work has been appreciated. And a special shout out to Vicki Cook – who is leaving the board after many years of service for all her work and dedication to Peninsula Hockey, and for being that source of all knowledge for so many of us.
For all the referees that did their training and then weren’t able to officiate – thank you for your dedication. BC Hockey has told us there will be some sort of compensation to officials, which will likely be put in place for next season. We can’t have games without officials, so thank you all for stepping up and I hope to see more PMHA refs next season.
For those parents newer to hockey – I want to thank you for your patience and I hope that your child had fun this year. If they did, tell your friends – we would love to see more young players starting hockey – we have amazing coaches and development opportunities for all levels of players.
I also want you to know that our board has decided that registration fees for 2021-22 will be the same as last year – this will hopefully help with planning. Returning player registration will start on April 1, 2021 and the wait list to be opened to new players on May 1, 2021. We will be holding a virtual AGM via zoom on April 29th at 7:00 pm – please contact me if you have interest in joining our board – I can safely guarantee that next season will be somewhat more normal than this one.
For those of you who have known me over the years – you will likely know that I used to end most of my e-mails to teams with “See you at the rink.” I dropped that this year, because it didn’t seem right in the times of restrictions. Now, with increased vaccinations happening this spring and summer I am really hoping that next season we will be able to see each other more, have regular games and to be able to watch them in person. So – for next season – I will see you at the rink.
Have a safe and happy spring and summer.