All girls hockey league forming

 In Sports

A group of volunteers in the area has been granted permission by the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association to build a girls hockey program for the Georgian Bay Area.

The initiative is spearheaded by group of parents who have daughters at various levels of skill, who want to play hockey.

Ivy Martin said her own daughter is new to hockey but her son plays rep.

“I think she sees how much he has gained from having that team experience and she wants that,” said Martin. “I’m excited, I think this is great for girls in our area who want to play hockey and make friends and be part of that community.”

Martin said there is a lot of interest in hockey in the Georgian Bay area and this will be one way for girls to get involved or augment their play.

“We want to make sure that we start fresh and new and have a wider area to draw from without drawing girls who are already playing,” said Martin. “We are not looking to draw those girls away because we’re not offering a competitive environment, we are just offering them a local league environment.”

She said the group, going under the name of Georgian Bay Girls’ Hockey Association, applied for a girls league two years ago and were denied, but bolstered by population growth and the number of girls in minor hockey, they were successful in this latest application to the OWHA. They have been approved for a local league that will be part of the new north Simcoe loop, including Midland, Orillia, Barrie and the Clearview IceCats, which play out of Alliston.

Georgian Bay Lightning is now recruiting for the Georgian Bay Lightning team, open to players born from 2000 to 2008.

They are looking at renting ice in Collingwood, Stayner, Thornbury and Creemore but the exact locations will be determined by the players who register and where they live. The goal is to try to stay within a half hour radius of the team members’ so that parents won’t have to drive too far for practices. There will be a mid-week practice and most of the OWHA games are on weekends.

“If girls 9-10-11 years old haven’t already started hockey, sometimes its hard for them to start in the minor hockey system because it’s more intimidating at that age to start hockey so now, with the local league system those girls who have never played hockey before have that opportunity to play with an all-girls team, which is really exciting.”

“That’s what’s so great about this. If girls had any inclination that they wanted to start but they were a little intimidated playing with the boys, now they’ll have that chance to start and play through their whole lives if they choose to.”

Registration sessions are being held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 23 at Central Arena Collingwood; from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, June 24 at Beaver Valley Thornbury Arena, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 25 at Wasaga Stars Arena in Wasaga Beach; and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, June 26 at the Stayner Arena.

For more information, contact Ivy Martin at 705-445-5374, or [email protected] Cost is $600 for the early bird registration and $650 after July 15.

Martin said girls playing minor hockey, can now also play with a girls team, if schedules don’t conflict and the minor hockey association is in agreement.

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