Keiden Archer skates in a January game.

Keiden Archer skates in a January game.

New president for Minor Hockey

The Prince Rupert Minor Hockey League has a new president for the 2015-16 season.

The Prince Rupert Minor Hockey League has a new president for the 2015-16 season after the organization held its annual general meeting (AGM) last week.

Bill Shepert will take over presidential duties from past president Ron German. Shepert’s appointment came after the minor hockey league (PRMHA) held its first multi-candidate election for the presidential post (with two vying for the role) in approximately 14 years.

The hour-long meeting featured some concerns raised by members and parents stemming from the past season, including on-ice and locker room bullying, lack of officiating education opportunities for new referees and PRMHA’s adherence to governing bodies’ rules and regulations.

Discipline committee chair Tanya Ostrom said the committee had one formal complaint about bullying and harassment and one informal complaint in 2014-15, both of which led to investigations into the matter.

Members brought up possible solutions to the problem for next year, which included a mandatory meeting at the beginning of the season to reinforce the ‘zero-tolerance’ views the PRMHA holds to bullying and harassment, reminding coaches and parents that two adults must be present in the locker rooms at all times while players are there, as well as contacting the disciplinary committee immediately if parents hear of bullying occurring, working with the Pacific Rim Hockey Academy to coordinate anti-conflict reminders and bringing firmer disciplinary action to entire teams if even one or two players are found to be making trouble.

Referee-in-chief Jerry Kurka noted that a lack of newer referees and education opportunities for clinics in the north are hurting the officials’ on-ice schedules, as too few of them are expected to handle too many games. Ostrom said that holding online sessions through webinars and Skype might be a solution to attract better educating opportunities for the issue.

Past president German noted that the PRMHA will have to keep a keen eye on abiding by three different governing bodies’ regulations, including Hockey Canada, BC Hockey and specifically the BC North West District Minor Hockey Association.

The organization needed three new positions to be filled within the PRMHA. These included a webmaster, a risk manager (to ensure PRMHA is in compliance with necessary governing bodies’ policies) and a female hockey coordinator.

Courtney Scott and Tristen Repole were appointed in the webmaster role, Rosa Miller was suggested as risk manager, but the position will be more fleshed out prior to next season and Tamara Ward and Jamie Lowe were appointed female hockey coordinators.

Ostrom was elected first vice-president, and will look after rep divisions, the second vice-president to oversee the house divisions remained vacant after officers’ elections, Tammy Dickens was appointed secretary, Christine Storey as treasurer, Kurka as referee-in-chief, Terena Stegavig as registrar, Gary Coons as head coach, Cathy Quane as sponsorship lead, Dan Lorette as equipment manager, Storey as canteen coordinator, the ice coordinator position remained vacant, Lisa Pirillo and Dave Magnusson as statisticians, Pam Larose as referee allocator and Debbie Mellis as public relations.

Final numbers on registration and the club’s financial position will be available after the PRMHA’s fiscal year ends on May 31.