Despite a wide variety of skill levels, all involved enjoyed a weekend that was designed to get them involved in the sport in a relaxed fashion. Tom Best photos

Girls trying hockey double what was expected

Program is once a week until December and may lead to integrated teams or all-girls squads.

Even a great organizer like Suzanne Rourke has one of those days where the unexpected shows up on their door.

Rourke, president of the Smithers Minor Hockey Association, had most everything lined up for the Smithers/ BC Hockey Hall of Fame Female Hockey Weekend last week. Ice time — check. Coaches — check. Posters — check. Schedule — check. Equipment lined up — check…

Oops. Equipment lined up but due to a snag, it won’t arrive on time. And that was one of the big draws — free equipment to use by all girls who might be interested in playing. Somewhere along the line, the ordered equipment ran into some kind of obstacle and will not arrive on time.

A few calls around to various people and groups and somehow, the girls will get what they need. No one had to play without a helmet or skates.

The hoped for equipment would eventually arrive and be made available to the young players. Part of the idea of the program is to make it easily accessible so that more girls will choose to play. The program present basics of the game in a non-intimidating environment.

One youngster said that she was having a really good time. She said that sometimes the boys played too rough.

Players were placed in appropriate groups and had a great weekend learning the elements of the fastest game on ice. Lots of smiles, and not just from the players.

Rourke said that they had been expecting about 20 players but ended up with around 40.

The program will go for once a week until December and at that time players will be given various options to play on integrated teams or perhaps on all-girls squads.


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