Parents get busy as hockey season comes around

By Greg Patey
Roncalli Central High
Port Saunders, Newfoundland

The headaches are about to start again for most parents as the season starts for Minor Hockey.

For the children, hockey is great, but if you ask the parents you'll probably get a different version. For the parents with one child, it's not too bad, because the child only has two to three practices a week.

But the real headache for the parents comes when they have more than one child in minor hockey in different levels. This means the parents may have to be on the road five days of the week, and extra travel must be done on the weekends for the tournaments that are held in different places around the province.

A player and his father enter a
local arena for hockey practice

Between the bad weather, rushed suppers, and late nights, the parents are usually on the road in the worst weather that Newfoundland has to offer.

"Right now, I'm at the stadium five times a week," says one parent, Don Tulk. "And I would like to see more weekend slots used for minor hockey, but I understand that they can't always make everyone happy."

Tulk says it's very hard for people who are working who must have their children on the ice for 3:45pm.

Another factor that affects all the parents' decisions about Minor Hockey is the cost. The present cost for signing a child up in Minor Hockey is $120.00 for the first child, $100.00 for the second, $80.00 for the third. That doesn't include the cost of their hockey equipment.

But Martin Caines, another parent, says the effort is worth it in the long run because "minor hockey helps children become stronger and better mentally prepared for life." Plus, he says hockey keeps the children busier and therefore keeps them out of trouble.

The community remains very involved in the hockey league, says parent, Ida Patey.

"Our coaches and referees are very devoted to our children. If our children are interested in learning hockey, they have every opportunity to learn," says Patey. "Parents get out and support our children. They love to have spectators."

Jerry Lavers, the President of Minor Hockey Association, is excited about this year's season.

"Both my son and I are very excited to see what will happen this year in our minor hockey, because last year we managed to capture two gold medals and the female's brought home a bronze," says Lavers.

He says that "even though the bigger centers started earlier then us, we should be able to catch them quick enough with the high caliber of coaches and referees we have in the area. "

So, parents, prepare yourself, because minor hockey has begun.


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