The Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association (PRMHA) is looking to recruit not only new players to the organization, but new referees.
“Without refs, there’s no games,” said PRMHA vice-president Tanya Ostrom last week.
“We have great incentives for refs. Along with getting paid, their names get entered into draws and we want to develop as many people as we can to keep this game strong.”
Since identifying a need to bring in new referees at its annual general meeting (AGM) earlier this year, the association is moving ahead with its first referee training clinic, to be held from Sept. 12 – 13 at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.
“Jerry Kurka is our referee-in-chief. He can help if anybody has any questions and [he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org],” said the vice-president.
PRMHA will reimburse anyone looking to take the course, pass, and go on to officiate minor hockey games throughout the season. After incurring a financial loss to end the 2014-15 season, the PRMHA is looking to expand its base of players and has found some success with its ‘Big Assist’ program, which is a discounted offer for brand new players to the game who register before Aug. 31.
“[As of two weeks ago], we’ve had over 10 new members with advanced registration,” said Ostrom.
The minor hockey season starts on Sept. 8 and competitive games versus other regional opponents from the north begin in early October within the Northwest District Minor Hockey Association.
So far, PRMHA plans to field rep teams from all three of the Peewee, Bantam and Midget divisions, but should registration numbers fall short for any of the teams, the association will work something out to accommodate the participants.
“If the numbers aren’t there, we’ll do our best to be as creative as we can to help continue [the teams] and if not, we’ll look at other options,” Ostrom said.