Creemore, Stayner hockey amalgamate

 In News, Sports

Members of Creemore Minor Hockey and Stayner Minor Hockey have voted to amalgamate into one new organization, under the Clearview banner.

Creemore members met at the Creemore Arena Wednesday evening to hear a presentation from amalgamation committee members Brian McIntyre, Kevin Bloemendal and Rob Kinghan, and cast their votes.

At the same time, Stayner members were meeting in Stayner to do the same. 

After 9 p.m., the votes were counted with Creemore voting 81 per cent in favour, and Stayner voting 87 per cent in favour, of joining forces under the banner of Clearview Minor Hockey. 

In his introduction to the 87 members who showed up to cast a vote, Bloemendal urged everyone to make a decision based on what is best for the children.

He said the committee’s motivation for spearheading the amalgamation is to create a single, larger centre so children can play hockey within their level and develop skills appropriately. The result would be more competitive teams, better player experience and player retention.

“There may be a history between Creemore and Stayner but we are Clearview and we can put our differences aside,” said Bloemendal. 

Because of declining registration, some players are being called up to higher level teams in order to round out their numbers. 

For 2018, Creemore is at 79 players, down from 105 the year before. Stayner is at 114 players, down from 123.

There is a concern that if registration continues to decline, Creemore is at risk of losing its rep teams altogether.

Details have yet to be worked out, but parents were assured that practices and games would be shared between the two arenas, coaches would be selected by committee and that the less competitive local league players could see more ice time, not less.

“[Stayner Minor Hockey] has never once given any indication that this is a takeover. It’s shutting down and starting new,” said McIntyre. 

He said the new name, colours and logo will be new and something that the new executive will figure out. They will also sort out fees.

The hope is to get the new executive in place in the spring and the new organization up and running in time for the 2019-2020 season.

Clearview Township general manager of parks, culture and recreation Terry Vachon, who was in attendance, said any rumours about the closing of arenas are not true. In fact, a new Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan, recently adopted by council, contained a recommendation that the township’s two arenas are in good shape and should be used to their full potential. 

He said one of his goals is to convince council to put the ice in earlier at the arenas.

Adam Parent, Ontario Minor Hockey Association regional director for Georgian Bay, said through amalgamation there is the possibility that Clearview Minor Hockey would become attractive enough to lure players back to this centre, if they are currently playing out of area.

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