The President’s Corner
At this time I would like to take a moment to welcome everyone to the 2013 – 2014 inaugural season of the North Bay & District Trappers Hockey Association. As I am writing this I have taken some time to reflect on my volunteer career in minor hockey that spans over 25 years.
By Scott Kile
I started my volunteer work just like many others do, as a parent coach. My first executive experience came in 1994 when I joined the executive of the North Bay Minor Hockey Association. My primary responsibility was to write a monthly newsletter for the association.
The title of the newsletter was simply “North Bay Minor Hockey news”! Being a truck mechanic at the time but eager to be involved in minor hockey I was willing to do anything. My thoughts at the time were of my English teacher and thinking “if she could only see me now”.
Being a volunteer in minor hockey has challenged me in many ways. I have met many great individuals. I made a conscious decision many years ago to mentor myself after the many unselfish caring volunteers I have come across in my minor hockey journey. That is why I do not have the words to express how proud I am to be an executive member and president of the newly formed North Bay & District Trappers Hockey Association.
Many people in our area are seeing a triple A association operating for the first time in North Bay. What they don’t see is how much work and co-operation went into developing the association. In March 1996 I wrote the following article for the NBMHA newsletter. It is amazing to me how much time has passed but how little things have changed since then. The only thing is, it took us this long to organize ourselves and truly recognize the needs of the elite hockey players in North Bay. Here is the article I wrote in the NBMHA news in March 1996.
What is Triple A (AAA)?
The NBMHA would like to take the opportunity to clear the air and straighten out some of the misconceptions people have about the Triple A system and explain why we offer a Triple A program.
The Triple A program is designed to give all skilled hockey players from North Bay and area a highly competitive place to play hockey. The program allows top skilled hockey players from our area to play against the top skilled players from other cities. The reason the NBMHA offers Triple A is because we have the capabilities and we are able to facilitate the program.
Firstly, many people find the title Triple A very intimidating. One of the ways to make Triple A more appealing to parents and players would be to change the name and ranking of all categories in minor hockey. Instead of AAA, AA, A or even City League it has been suggested that a simple renaming to level A, B, C and City League would probably increase the amount of players trying out for top level teams.
Secondly, the NBMHA feels all of its programs are equally important; from City League to Triple A. For people who have experienced both Triple A and Double A hockey, you may have noticed that there is not much difference between both programs. Both levels offer the same amount of tournament exposure. The number of tournaments depends on the individual team’s program. The difference is the caliber of the players playing in these tournaments. No matter what level you are playing, all teams go for one main reason; to hopefully win the tournament.
Thirdly, the NBMHA believes all kids deserve a place to play hockey; from the player who can barely stand on his skates to the player who skates like the wind. All players deserve an opportunity to play at the highest level they are capable of playing.
One can’t help but wonder how Kate Pace-Lindsay would have reached world class status as a skier if she would have adopted the following philosophy: Well I’m from North Bay, therefore I can only ski against athletes from smaller centres and not ones from the bigger cities.”
As you can see not much has changed since 1996 with regards to development strategies. The NB&DTHA recognizes more than ever how important our partner associations are when it comes to development in North Bay & the District.
The name North Bay stands out loud and clear in the name of our association. The word District may not have the same tone but it is equally important with regards to the strength and competitiveness of our association. The district associations account for 45% of the players in our association.
As an association we rely heavily on, and are greatful for, the work the surrounding associations, namely Powassan, East Nipissing, Sturgeon Falls/West Nipissing, Mattawa, and West Ferris, do to develop the players long before they come to us. We simply wouldn’t exist without them. I am humbled by the chance to sit as President of the North Bay & District Trappers Association but all the while I feel a strong sense of pride that all of this was made possible by all of these associations working together to achieve a long held dream.