March 5tb 2015

Dear Friends of W.M.H.A;

I would like to inform our membership and fellow associations that on December 10th 2014 the WMHA Executive voted in favor of beginning the application process to return Representative Hockey to Walden for the 2015-2016 season.

This was a motion tabled once again, due to the vast number of concerns from parents and coaches playing in the Nickel City Hockey Association. It is the belief of our Executive that we have an obligation to support the best interest of the children in our community.  3.2 WMHA Constitution- To develop and administer the sport of hockey in a manner that will encourage mass participation, improve skill levels, provide healthy physical activity and enjoyment of the game and promote the building of good character.

Although our executive is committed at working to a common goal within our district, it has become apparent that the program in place is not only hindering the development and retention of players in our community, but the overall success of a competitive program within the district.

As an executive we would like to identify the rationale behind making an application for an ‘A’ program.  As noted, rep hockey in our district has a declining enrollment, while our house league numbers continue to grow. As an executive, we’ve polled the membership to find out what they believe the attributing factors are. All fingers pointed to the following four issues.

1)  Ice Allocation- This has been one of the biggest issues surrounding a parent’s decision to remove their child from a rep system. Having a team comprised of Walden area children practicing on a weekly basis at arenas in Levack, Capreol, Hanmer and Val Caron is a strong deterrent.

T.M. Davies (Walden) (0-12kms) (0-12mins)
I.J. Coady (Levack) 69.3kms 1h 06mins
Capreol Arena 61.6kms 57mins
Centennial Arena (Hanmer) 50.9kms 44mins
Ray Plourde Arena (Val Caron) 30.2kms 31mins



What does this mean? If a player from Walden has a fixed ice time in Levack at 7:00PM, a parent must leave home at 5:45 to have their child at the arena 30 minutes before the practice starts.  Thus a 1.5hr practice now becomes a 4hr commitment.  The reality is, parents are not willing to commit this amount of time to an ‘A’ program.

Does the return of Rep Hockey affect house league ice? NO! When WMHA joined NCHA in 2011, along with the rights to an ‘A’ program, we signed over 12.5hrs per week of T.M. Davies (Walden) ice. If a rep program returns to Walden- the City of Greater Sudbury has confirmed that all ice given to NCHA will be returned to WMHA to accommodate this program.

2)  Consistency- An ever changing ‘A’ model has made it impossible in some years to introduce Walden children into a repOur executive believes it to be paramount to have a strong feeder system in order to build a competitive ‘AAA’ system.  The proposed NCHA model has 3 teams in Novice (1AA, 1A West, 1A East).  In combining a West team from Rayside, Walden, Levack & Espanola we are only allowing a handful of players from each association to be introduced into the districts rep system.   Again, our executive believes that introducing and developing a full roster at the novice level can only strengthen and support the talent depth in the higher ages. Returning a program to WMHA will only compliment a competitive hockey program in the district.


2004                                7
2005                                4
2006                                2
2007                            9 (WMHA pushes 3rd team)


3)  Unfamiliarity- Parents that do not understand this system are less likely to bring a child into another community to try-The idea that Novice and Atom aged children want to play with the kids they go to school with or began the initiation program with is huge when making the decision to leave house-league.  Having an arms-length relationship with the coaching staff and league administration is strong point in being comfortable in asking questions or offering suggestions.  Again, because there is a commitment to travel for try-outs, practices and games, having friends on the team is huge selling point in making the decision to play progressive hockey.

4)  Fees/Jerseys- Parents feel that the mandatory association dues are steep for ‘A’WMHA is committed to making hockey attainable to the masses.  Due to the generosity of the people and business’ in our community we are able to freeze our fees and continue to provide jerseys to our teams at no cost.

Will rep come at a cost to House league? NO! Rep hockey has traditionally been, and will continue to be, a user pay system.  All ice times, uniforms, referee costs, development courses and tournaments are paid by the team.  At no times are fees paid by House League parents used to offset the cost of a rep system.

5)  Affiliation- Not having a rep program in Walden does not allow forAgain, Walden Minor Hockey Association believes in development.  Having a rep system in Walden would once again allow our House League to affiliate with an ‘A’ team.  This is allowing children to try different levels of hockey through practice and games without making a full commitment.

Presented with these concerns, our executive, in cooperation with Nickel Center Minor Hockey, Espanola Minor Hockey & Coniston Minor Hockey has elected to pursue a community based REP program. However, before we proceed to the next step, your input is necessary.

Please fill out the attached survey and return it via e-mail or to your Coach/Convenor.

We would like to invite anyone with any questions, comments or concerns to put them in writing by e-mailingdarrenpvagnini@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support.
Kindest Regards;

Darren P. Vagnini


Walden Minor Hockey Association