Se­crets of a hockey mom

Theresa Dostaler’s so­cial ex­per­i­ment a big hit across Canada,

Ottawa Citizen - - LIFE - JANET WIL­SON

Not long ago, Theresa Dostaler de­cided to tackle her pho­bia of so­cial me­dia by cre­at­ing a hockey mom blog to reach out to other like-minded women. Four years later, she’s got thou­sands of fol­low­ers on Face­book and Twit­ter, and her web­site is draw­ing from fans across the coun­try.

The busy mom of three hockey kids aged five, nine and 11, lives in the small town of Madoc, south­east of Bancroft. As a hockey coach, she was frus­trated in her at­tempts to find one source that of­fered in­for­ma­tion on things, like fundrais­ing, nutri­tion and hockey equip­ment.

“I opened my first Face­book ac­count on Dec. 31, 2009. I was liv­ing this hockey life­style and de­cided to see if I could build a com­mu­nity of hockey moms. I saw this as a so­cial ex­per­i­ment and as an out­let for me.”

Threat­ened with le­gal ac­tion by the CBC, Dostaler changed the name of her web­site to Cana­di­an­hock­ey­moms.ca, while her Face­book ac­count re­mains Hock­eyMom­inCanada.

Dostaler, who has a master’s de­gree in com­mu­nity psychology, sus­pected that her idea would take off — and it has. She started email­ing ques­tions to Hockey Canada and would post re­sponses on such top­ics as rules around ice time and tools for be­ing a man­ager. A year ago, Hockey Canada cre­ated a web­site called Club Hockey Canada and Team Hub as a tool for par­ents and hockey team man­agers.

“I blog ev­ery week on a range of top­ics about ev­ery­thing from good snacks, pre-game meals, how to stay or­ga­nized and how to save money. Peo­ple send in their ques­tions through Face­book. We re­cently had a dis­cus­sion on fundrais­ing ideas, which was great as you get peo­ple com­ment­ing from B.C. to P.E.I. It’s re­fresh­ing to get a va­ri­ety of new ideas.”

When she posted a blog about regis­tra­tion fees, she was sur­prised to dis­cover a range from $150 to $5,000, depend­ing on where peo­ple live.

“Ed­mon­ton, Cal­gary and Toronto pay the high­est fees. It’s amaz­ing what you learn about peo­ple’s lives. One woman in Moose Fac­tory takes her child by boat and then has to drive to the rink,” says Dostaler, whose hus­band Ken Dostaler was an elite boxer who grew up in Ot­tawa.

With hockey sea­son in full swing, Dostaler of­fers some tips here.

‘I was liv­ing this hockey life­style and de­cided to see if I could build a com­mu­nity of hockey moms. I saw this as a so­cial ex­per­i­ment and as an out­let for me.’

THERESA DOSTALER

Madoc hockey mom

Pop­u­lar Cana­dian Hockey Moms blog­ger and founder of Hockey Mom in Canada, Theresa Dostaler.

Chil­dren and friends of Cana­di­an­hock­ey­moms.ca blog­ger Theresa Dostaler en­joy skat­ing on Moira Lake. Shown in the photo are Theresa’s sons Kobe, in goal, and Kellen, tak­ing the shot, and daugh­ter Shea, who is look­ing on. In the back­ground is fam­ily friend Carter.

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