I just wanted to take a few minutes to provide you with a
follow-up on our GMHA return-to-hockey plan. There have been several posts and threads
circulating on social media and the internet concerning other association’s
plans. I wanted to reassure everyone
that despite not posting any details yet, members of our board and development
team have been extremely hard at work, getting the final details in place for a safe,
fun, and value-for-money hockey program in September.
At present we are working closely with our partners at the City of Guelph and the University of Guelph on topics such as ice availability and numbers of participants, while concurrently putting the final costings together. The program will then be subject to approval by the Board of Directors and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association. It is anticipated that we will begin on-ice activities in the latter half of September. The intent of this is to allow players and parents to settle back into the school routine after a 6-month absence, provide time for OMHA permissions, and allow the city to have their ice installed and ready to go. The program (and costs for players) will be run in 6-8 week “blocks” to allow us to adapt delivery as governments and hockey associations amend their regulations and restrictions.
Chad Wiseman (our Technical Director) will be hosting live virtual town hall meetings with coaches and parents to explain the details of the program structure, the methodology, and the benefits of our approach, and provide time for Q&A. The intent is to have these meetings within the next 7-10 days barring any major issues.
At a high level, the program will be focused on player development and rely on a small group format arranged by skill level, from House League through to AAA. The intent is to reinforce fundamentals, build new skills and increase hockey IQ. At the same time, it will maintain intensity and competition, while promoting fun and game play.
I know the GMHA community has a lot of questions and concerns about returning to the ice. I would ask that everyone attend the Town Hall where I hope, most of this will be addressed. Finally, I greatly appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as we work through this difficult and constantly shifting landscape so we can get our kids back on the ice.
Watch this space!