Minor Hockey concerned over late ice time
Seeking assistance from Marystown town council to rectify the situation
Members of the Marystown Minor Hockey Association are asking the Marystown town council to step in to help resolve a conflict over ice time.
Michelle Dober, who spoke on behalf of the association at this past Tuesday’s council meeting, told members of council that the association has spoken with a representative of the recreational hockey league’s over 45 team about trading ice time so that the midget team could go on the ice earlier in the evening.
During her address to council Dober explained that during the start of this season, a third team was needed in the midget division to help ensure all players received adequate ice time during house league play.
“We made the decision to go with the three times knowing that the only option for the extra hour was on Thursday evenings at 10:30 p.m after the over 45 (league) time slot,” she explained. “We had sincerely hoped that the over 45 league would switch with our minor hockey midget division players.”
There are 12 to 13 players that hit the ice during the allotted time for the over 45.
“We feel that the town council should be stepping in here where this matter is concerned for the safety of these young players,” she said.
She continued that the players who range from Level I to Level III students are getting off the ice at 11:30 p.m. and then travelling home.
Not up to council
Coun. Mary Beth Farrell said it is not council’s place to get involved in the matter.
“It is a very difficult situation they you’re in,” she said as she spoke to the members of the minor hockey association in attendance during the recreation committee report. “And I know that you have an organization with rules and regulations that council don’t step into to address unless there is no other solution.
“We are here we look at both sides, the arena is here for everyone’s use and not just minor hockey, it is to the benefit of everybody no matter what age.”
Farrell added that the hockey association knew how many players that had registered and that a meeting was held for all user groups of the area to arrange times.
“We don’t step in to say what times are available, you should go here you should go there . . . you have an organization that looks after that, we have an operation that looks after that.”
Farrell than passed the floor over to Rob Warr, the town’s director of Recreation and Community Services.
Warr said a meeting was held Sept. 21 with all the major user groups including the Marystown Minor Hockey Association, the over 45 group, the Ice Crystals Figure Skating Club and the recreation hockey league to put together a schedule that worked for everyone involved.
“That’s what had happened that night,” said Warr. “Also during that night I asked for requests, concerns, issues anything they felt was an area of trouble there, any requests, if they would want any extra ice time this year.”
Warr said he felt good about the meeting and that everyone had an opportunity to have input into the times need.
“When I left that meeting I said, ‘Now the town will not be getting involved if there is any discretion or if you want to change the time amongst yourselves then you do it amongst yourselves and the town won’t get involved. As long as you can work it amongst yourselves we’ll support it.”
Warr explained that on Oct. 27 he received an e-mail from the association asking to meet with council concerning an issue over ice time.
“Minor hockey had their times and they were looking for an extra hour and what my job as head of the department is to find that hour, but not to on everybody’s cost,” he explained.
Warr said he understand the concerns of parents but asks what is he supposed to do about them?
“Am I supposed to uproot an organization a group that has been there for all them years and show them a lack of respect and then take their hour away and give an extra hour that an organization is looking for?” he said.
Warr added he has to consider the needs of all groups using the arena.
“I certainly don’t want the teenagers out at 10:30 or 11:30 at night, I absolutely don’t, but I do have to consider all user groups there and treat everybody equal and show respect for everybody,” he said.
Dr. Lynn Power, the parent of a child in the minor hockey program spoke with The Southern Gazette following the meeting on Tuesday.
“I think it is very discouraging and disappointing to see adults who are making kids stay out all hours in the night to play hockey,” she said.
“Over 45 (league) has three prime time ice session in our area, they skate Sunday afternoon, they skate 9 on Tuesday and they skate 9 on Thursdays and what we’re told is that they refuse to budge. The midget aged kids, some of whom (are) still 14-years-old are out until 11:30-12 o’clock in the night.”
She added some of the players travel from as far away as St. Lawrence and Terranceville.
Power said in her position as a family doctor and ER physician, “We’re seeing more and more mental health issues in children — we are seeing more and more issues with headaches.”
She added in a recent release from the Canadian Pediatrics Society that states children in the age group 13-18 are not getting enough sleep and it is affecting their health and well-being.
“The other issue I guess with children is the recommendation is an hour of physical fitness everyday,” she explained. “There are many kids who are paying for two hours of minor hockey and are only getting one , because for me as a parent my son’s well being and his education is more important than that hour of hockey, but that’s sad I’m paying for him to have two hours and he’s not getting it.”
She said it can also have an impact on school work.
“In my son’s class there’s kids who have fallen asleep twice in class, they played hockey Thursday night, they went to school and they feel asleep in class the next day,” she said.
Power said her son attended once on a Thursday night, had a snack, a shower and it was 12:45 when he went to bed.
“I live 10 minutes (from the) rink, what about the poor kid in Terrenceville?”