FilePhoto

FilePhoto

Eckville Minor Hockey set to return to the ice for 2020-21 season

Ice laying at the Eckville Arena is due to begin Sept. 14 for minor hockey and figure skating use

Hockey will resume in the Eckville Arena the upcoming season, but will look different for the time being.

After a meeting of the Eckville Minor Hockey Association (EMHA), the arena board and the figure skating board, it was decided the ice plant will begin on Sept. 14.

“In some form or another kids will be skating in Eckville and hopefully by the end of September,” said Charles Hainsworth, president of the EMHA in a phone interview.

He explained there will be new policies, procedures and protocols, as well as a new business model for operations, as minor hockey and figure skating prepare to get back on the ice.

EMHA will host the bantam and midget female hub teams, as well as initiation, novice, atom and peewee boys teams.

Eckville will not host a bantam or midget boys team as numbers in these age groups are low. These players will be released to join other teams.

“I want to be able to give those kids the right amount of time to get in rather than we try to make a team like we’ve done in the past and then we don’t have a tea and now other associations won’t allow these kids to come in because they’ve already made their teams,” explained Hainsworth.

For now, the season will consist of practice and in-house scrimmages with no chance of the possibility of games until December at the earliest.

Hainsworth says the association will try to get cohorts set up within the hub system, which includes Caroline, Rocky Mountain House, Spruce View, Bentley, Rimbey, Sylvan Lake and Eckville, but that will depend on approval from Hockey Alberta.

“We want to be able to get the kids the outlet to grow the love of the game, to still have that chance to develop… You don’t get a whole lot of opportunities to do anything else, to stay active, to get your exercise,” Hainsworth added in regard to how schools and other extracurricular activities running this year.

With the new models and procedures set for this year the arena is going to be run differently.

Full guidelines have yet to be put into place, but for somethings they have a general understanding of what the changes are going to look like.

With the new operating model the association will no longer be able to use volunteers to man the concession or help clean to keep operating costs down to align with health measures.

Ice time now needs to be rented by the hour to compensate, compared to the usual model of paying registration and arena fees and filling in the gaps with volunteers.

Hainsworth says it will be “a lot more expensive to play hockey in Eckville this year.” Exact prices were undetermined at the time of interview as the association continued to navigate the new model.

Currently the EMHA is working out how much ice needs to be rented in terms of number of practices per week for each age group, as well as being careful to not discredit the possibility of games later this season.

“We thought we were going to go back to just keeping everything the same as we did last year,” Hainsworth said, noting nothing is going to be normal this year.

“Nothing is going to be normal any time soon and I don’t think that’s just our arena, that’s going to be everybody’s.”

Registration for the 2020-21 EMHA season is officially closed, although he is anticipating some changes as some families may have been waiting for official word on the season to sign up their players and as the new pricing rolls out.

“… Families budget for that and when you change that last minute some people are going to have to pull out. It’s not the same economy we had in the past,” said Hainsworth.

The association is planning to meet weekly and any updates will be shared to the Eckville Minor Hockey Facebook group and website.

Figure skating in Eckville will also go ahead this season.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Kiara Robillard is seen in an undated handout photo. When the pandemic began, Robillard had to rush back home to Alberta from California, where she had been living for five years, after she was struck by a truck that broke her spine in two places. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kiara Robillard, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘It kind of clicks:’ Text4Hope program helps with depression, anxiety during pandemic

Participants receive one text message every morning for three months

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Pictured here is Stettler’s Jenner Smith with a guide dog from Aspen Service Dogs. An online auction will be running soon to help raise funds for Jenner to receive his very own service dog later this year. Jenner, who is four years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019. photo submitted
An online auction is planned to raise funds for a service dog for a Stettler family

Jenner Smith, four, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019

Most Read