May 14, 2020 ~ We want to start off by wishing everyone good health and thank everyone for doing their part to keep our community safe, either by staying home or providing essential services for all of us.
As you have likely seen through recent announcements at the provincial and local levels, we seem to be moving towards the “End of the Beginning”. This is leading to a re-opening of many sectors of regular life. These openings provide some promising news for the sports sector and eventually for minor hockey.
Recent announcements have stirred some action with sport governing bodies to develop return to play protocols. Most of the early attention on this is with the outdoor sports that would normally be in-season for the spring and summer months. Indoor sports, and hockey specifically, are scheduled for a later roll out.
Led by Dave Newson, SEMI Hockey is playing a leadership role in assisting with development of these plans, which will be a careful balance of public safety and access to sport requirements. These plans will be made with consideration and input from health officers, facility providers, and sport governing bodies. Semi Hockey is regularly providing direct input, feedback and participating in calls with Hockey Canada, BC Hockey, PCAHA and the cities of White Rock and Surrey.
There are numerous options for what next season could look like, and SEMI Hockey is preparing contingencies for all of them. SEMI Hockey itself is well positioned to adapt to any programming changes that may be necessary in the short and long term. We have the capacity to tailor programming to smaller group sizes, or provide practice and skill development centred programming should that be called for by any of the protocols, and we will have the ability to quickly scale back up to regular full programming levels when deemed safe. These program options will be dependent on facility access, particularly municipal rinks, and while that is still an unknown, we are in regular communication with our facility partners as news evolves.
You can be confident that when the province is ready for hockey, SEMI Hockey will be ready.
We are hopeful that all of you are as excited as we are to get back to action, and to see each other safely around the rink again. We all recognize the important mental and physical health benefits of keeping our youth active and engaged in activities and we want to play a role in that where we are able.