The Woolwich Girls Minor Hockey Association is introducing a new program to attract the youngest players to the sport.
The Wild Rookie program is for girls aged four to six who want to give hockey a try. The program will focus on skating and basic hockey skills, with some exhibition games against other local league teams in the second half of the year.
Woolwich has mini and tyke programs for boys under novice age, but there was no corresponding program for girls. Jacinta Faries, local league director for the WGMHA, said some girls joined the boys’ mini program but for others it could be a bit intimidating. The girls also tend to be more social when it comes to sports, which doesn’t happen if there is only one or two of them in the dressing room.
“It was a gap we had that needed to be addressed,” she said.
Their goal is to get enough girls signed up to make one rookie team this year. The registration fee for the new program is set at $180, significantly less than other minor hockey programs. Faries explained that they’re trying to make it affordable for families to try out the sport. They’re also looking for sponsors to help offset the cost.
The association is also trying to recruit girls aged seven to 10 who want to start playing hockey. It isn’t necessary to have taken part in a learn-to-skate or mini program, Faries said; at the novice and atom levels, the girls will learn on the ice with the help of their coaches.
“The first day they’re holding onto the boards and they can’t really skate and within a month they’re skating around the ice,” Faries said. “At those ages, it’s really easy to start brand new to the sport.”
The WGMHA will also waive the late registration fee for those registering to play Woolwich girls’ hockey for the first time. They would like to have registration forms returned by the end of June – allotment of ice time starts in July – but will accept registration forms up to September.
For more information, see www.woolwichwild.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.