MMHA named Minor Hockey Association of the Year
May 26, 2021, 2:38 pm
Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Moosomin Minor Hockey Association (MMHA) has been named the Minor Hockey Association of the Year by the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA).
The SHA named Moosomin Minor Hockey the Minor Hockey Association of the Year after reviewing between 30 and 40 other nominations.
President of the MMHA Kristjan Hebert says that receiving the award is something that everybody involved in the MMHA should be proud of.
Hebert says he was not aware that the MMHA was nominated for Minor Hockey Association of the Year, which he says led to an interesting but exciting phone call with the SHA.
“I think it’s something for our association, all our players, all our parents, and especially all of our volunteers to be proud of. We’ve made a lot of changes over the last 24 months and we think it’s pretty exciting where minor hockey is at in our community and the potential for where it can be,” Hebert said.
He says that the MMHA has improved over the last decade, but the past year has thrown many challenges their way, challenges the MMHA has been able to overcome.
“I’d go straight to dealing with Covid and the working relationships we have with the town and especially the rec department and Mike Schwean. We were able to keep every athlete that wanted to be, on the ice twice a week for the whole hockey season despite having to go down to groups of eight. That took the town and the rec department giving us a discount on ice and a number of volunteers stepping up because we needed a lot more coaches and managers to handle that many groups to happen. We also had to juggle the schedule a fair bit and parents dealt with that quite well with all the new challenges around masks and how many people we could allow in the rink and how long you could be there before and after. That is what we are the proudest of.”
Hebert says that the MMHA had begun investing in capital projects as well through 2020, helping fund the new score clock in the Communiplex and renovating the changerooms as well.
“We also have started to do some capital projects. We were one of the major sponsors behind the new score clock that went into the Communiplex. We raised the money through some generous donations from local businesses and put money in ourselves to renovate a number of dressing rooms that we hope will be enjoyed by all the hockey players and coaches for years to come.
“For the first time in 2020, we started the year with a month-long hockey development camp with Casey O’Brian also known as Edge 2 Edge Hockey. We think that investing and developing the skills that they can bring can really set our association up for the future and keep building on our strengths as our numbers grow.”
Hebert thanks the MMHA Board of Directors for all the efforts they have put in through the difficult 2020-2021 season.
He says that every year the MMHA continues to grow and improve.
“I have to take my hat off to our board members. We have a lot of board members who put in a lot of time.
“The board is passionate and puts in the time that’s needed. We have a great group of coaches and managers that step up every year to volunteer hours for all the young athletes in town. We have a great group of young hockey players. Even with the group that my sons part of, the nine and under group, there are between 11 and 13 female hockey players in that age group alone. So we’ve seen a real increase in our female hockey players, we’ve seen a real increase in young hockey players signing up year over year for our Snowflake program. I think that’s due to good volunteer coaches, good volunteer managers, the association trying its best, and the community, town, and rec department all working together to keep hockey alive and thriving in Moosomin.”
A nomination letter was sent to the SHA
The nomination letter read:
“I am a part of the Moosomin Minor Hockey board and I am proud to be a part of this Association every year, but especially this year. Our board consists of 12 members. Our board works so hard every year to make our Minor hockey program the best it can be. This season, the amount of things our board accomplished together was amazing. Pre-season, even though our local arena is owned by the Town of Moosomin, a couple of our board members sought out donations from local businesses to sponsor a dressing room each. With these funds and some kick-in from Minor Hockey’s Capital Improvements fund, we were able to renovate all of the dressing rooms in our local arena. Board members and a few contractors came in to complete the job. The board was also part of getting a new-to-us clock in our arena to replace the old one. Our arena has never looked better!
When the hockey season was finally here, our board members worked so hard all year long to keep our kids in hockey even with every ‘slap shot’ that was thrown our way. We met monthly, and sometimes semi-monthly if needed, to continue to push to keep hockey in the community for our kids despite all the Covid restrictions. The board came up with and diligently implemented Community and Minor Hockey covid protocols for all practices and short-lived games of the season The board and our membership for the most part were all very understanding and fantastic at complying with everything that was put in place to keep us in hockey. MMHA was even able to arrange a photographer to do hockey photos in a safe way by taking individual photos of the players and photoshopping them together into a team photo, so they would still be able o have those memories. When the heaviest of restrictions were put into place, our board worked hard with the town to keep the game alive. Our town agreed to cut ice rates in half for the entire season to allow the groups of eight to continue to practice which allowed MInor Hockey to afford the extra ice to do so. With all the hard work of our board and our members, MMHA was able to complete a full season of two practices per week until March 1, 2021, which I think is absolutely amazing! Moosomin Minor Hockey did an excellent job in making the ‘20-’21 season the most normal season it possibly could be, given the circumstances, and really went above and beyond to make sure the kids could continue in some way to do the sport we all love so much! Hats off to every member of Moosomin Minor Hockey!
Randi Thorn with the MMHA was nominated for Volunteer of the Year and Chris Light, coach of the Moosomin Badgers, was nominated Coach of the Year.
Neither won their nominations but both received a letter and certificate from the SHA.
Perseverance paid off
Joseph Laprairie, Manager of Marketing and Communications with the SHA says that each association that was nominated received a letter and a certificate for their nomination, but the MMHA received a plaque as an award for being named the Minor Hockey Association of the Year.
Laprairie says that the MMHA was selected by the SHA’s awards committee.
“With the SHA awards, we take in nominations for everything from volunteers to coaches and then of course the Minor Hockey Association of the Year. It’s an open nomination where members can submit whoever they wish and we take those in and we tally them up, make sure they’re all valid, and send them to our Board of Directors. There’s an awards committee there that takes them all in and selects one to be our recipient,” Laprairie said.
The MMHA’s tenacity through the difficult 2020-2021 season played a huge role in their selection as the association of the year according to Laprairie.
“One of the things that the board was looking at was an association that persevered over the year. It was a tremendously difficult year considering the regulations and restrictions that were changing month by month, and we figured that Moosomin not only had goals in mind to improve the arena but also were able to have hockey practices even with the restrictions.”
Laprairie says that the MMHA should be proud of this achievement.
“There are a few associations that may have struggled but there were a lot of associations that really just put their nose to the grindstone and worked hard to do everything possible to make the best of it. We’re extremely proud of a lot of associations and I think with Moosomin receiving this award they should be extremely proud of the effort they put in,” Laprairie said. Tweet