Survey delves into local hockey issues
Is the cost of playing hockey in Hamilton too high?
That’s just one of the questions the city is seeking to answer in a new online survey.
Launched Friday, the survey was created at the request of a group of local hockey associations. It’s aimed at those already involved in the sport — players, parents, coaches and so forth — and is available until the end of the month.
The group, which started small and has since grown to i nclude more than a dozen associations, first came together in November to talk about the rules that restrict players from playing outside their catchment areas.
The idea for a survey was hatched in those discussions, which also touched on the steep cost of the game and other barriers to participation brought to light in Pay to Play — a three-part Spectator series published in late October that uncovered links between socioeconomic factors and hockey success.
Steve Sevor, the city’s manager of sport and development, said the associations wanted to better understand those issues as well as how individual clubs and their members feel about them. He also said he views this as a “first step” — the city is still trying to figure out how to expand the discussion to include the general public.
The survey, which takes about five to 10 minutes to complete, seeks input on everything from financial assistance programs to the structure of hockey in Hamilton. It also asks respondents what they would like to see change.
According to Sevor, around 1,500 people have filled it out so f ar — nearly 20 per cent of the city’s overall registration. Around 8,000 people signed up for hockey in Hamilton this year.
Once the information is gathered, the city will analyze it to look for trends or common messaging before sharing it with the associations. “It’s hard to say how we’ll progress, but I think, first and foremost, it’s great to have a survey of this nature,” Sevor added. “We always go out to the associations, but going out to the membership is very valuable.”
Hamilton Huskies general manager Mike Spadafora agreed.
“We’ve never asked the parents,” he said. “If we all agree that hockey is expensive, should we not be looking to give them every opportunity to find the league that best suits their family’s needs?”
Visit surveymonkey.com/r/hamiltonhockeysurvey to complete the survey before March 1.