Attracting more players to the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre’s arena is priority number-one for the Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association.
Minor hockey (PRMHA) posted a $10,500 loss for the 2014-15 season after a few costly initiatives and fewer kids playing the sport made up the financial context for the North Coast organization.
“We’re doing more, spending a little bit of our savings too and trying to bring awareness out for Cross-Ice (a program that encourages kids who have never played hockey to try it through dividing the ice into shorter playing zones). We bought all the stuff for [that] and we’ve been spending and buying and upgrading and going through that,” said PRMHA vice-president Tanya Ostrom last week.
“I don’t believe we had a loss in [2013-14].”
A drop-off in player numbers as the athletes age is one big reason why PRMHA is focusing strongly on attracting new membership through its “Big Assist” drive, which enables all new players who have never previously played minor hockey, including Initiation A and B players, to register for the season for $50 plus a $25 jersey deposit.
“What happens is as the kids get older, you don’t get the numbers … so you need to be creative to try and retain them because so many kids are busy with school or they’re off trying new things in their late teens and we would like to keep them. Our younger division is healthy, it’s a really big group and we’re just going to work to promote more of it,” said Ostrom.
One expense that PRMHA incurred from its capital budget was the purchase of a new Zamboni to replace an older model that had broken down numerous times.
“[The funds for that came from] a capital account that we were saving for an addition for the building … we wanted to add on another dressing room, so that it could have superior access and storage capability [and be] something that the rep teams or [senior men’s team] the Rampage or minor hockey or anybody could use, because that’s one thing the facility is lacking, is storage,” said Ostrom.
“We were happy to step up and use those funds toward purchasing a Zamboni.”
PRMHA hasn’t formally engaged the city about about the dressing room addition, which would propose the Zamboni entrance side of the building be extended.
The Canteen continues to thrive under PRMHA’s direction and is one of the main revenue streams apart from player registration that the association operates.
With hockey being one of the more expensive sports for kids to play, parents seeking financial assistance if they need it, can contact the organization confidentially through any executive member or Christine Storey, PRMHA treasurer. Visit www.prmha.com for more details.