Secrets of a hockey mom
Theresa Dostaler’s social experiment a big hit across Canada,
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.’
Madoc hockey mom