The Pembina Valley Minor Hockey Association has seen plenty of growth in its female programming this year, and the Peewee age group especially has seen the benefits of partnerships with the community.
There are currently three teams in the Peewee half-season league, and in addition to the games PVMHA wanted to provide additional skill development to help girls transition into Bantam Hockey.
Former PVMHA female vice director Mark Alderson and the company he works for, Pattern Energy, provided the female program with a donation that went toward a skills and development program for the girls and practice jerseys for the teams.
Alderson served on the board of PVMHA for five years from 2013-2018.
“I got involved in female hockey out of a lifelong love of hockey,” he said. “I have a daughter that was very interested in hockey and I knew that it takes a lot of volunteers and people donating time to make these programs run.”
Pattern Energy partners with PVMHA as part of their Community Donations program, and Alderson said female vice director Kim Paull put together much of the development program.
“It’s being part of the local community and supporting programs,” Alderson said. “We have a long-standing relationship with Pembina Valley Minor Hockey.”
The skills and development program also extended to the coaches, who met with rink training instructors before practices to discuss their practice plans and coaching strategies.
Alderson said it’s good to see the female hockey program growing in the area. “I’m a big supporter of it,” he said. “It’s nice to see the numbers growing. Historically the Pembina Valley has had a very strong hockey program and I think we’re working with Pembina Valley Minor Hockey to continue that and expand the scope of female hockey in the region.”
Other businesses and individuals have stepped up to help PVMHA as well. Red River Mutual Insurance has been providing all novice teams with a set of jerseys this year, and helped financially support the three female hockey jamborees PVMHA put on. The company plans to roll this sponsorship out throughout the province.
The Peewee girls will be having a skills competition sponsored by Derek Erb Seeds from Oak Bluff. The competition will be streaming live from Winkler Arena Feb. 14, and the winners will get their names engraved on the first annual Peewee Female Skills Competition Cup.