Hello KGHA members,
I wanted to take a brief opportunity to welcome families back to the rinks for the #KGHA2324 season. I trust everyone had an excellent summer and is ready to get back into the swing of things. Our competitive programs have resumed skating on August 14, and the rest of our programming began in early September. We are only mid-way through September and already we have competitive teams returning home with medals of all varieties; well done, Rangers!
I have thoroughly enjoyed being back in the rinks and seeing the smiles on everyone's faces. In our short time back, it's clear that our Rangers are rested, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the hockey world. Of notable mention, watching our U9/U11 pathways programs has been nothing short of enjoyable and inspiring. Thanks to our Lady Sens teams who have run the pathways sessions, providing excellent support and mentorship, and being incredible role models to our youngest of Rangers. The Lady Sens program is invaluable to our association.
Off the ice, your executive have been hard at work for you all summer, and continue to be, as the season begins to unfold. A lot of work has gone into #KGHA2324 already to ensure that your players are afforded the premiere programming that the KGHA continues to provide and be known for. Our executive family has also grown this offseason, adding a house league equipment coordinator and a house league development coordinator.
This season we have been able to add 6 teams to our roster - 3 at the competitive level and 3 at the house league level. It is our goal to allow as many to play as our resources can support. We were also able to move our U13AA program from 1 hour game slots into 1.5 hour slots which should facilitate better conditioning and development for this program. With the addition of the aforementioned teams comes the necessity for more ice. Not only have we secured the ice needed to support these teams, we have been able to reduce our blended ice rate, passing down a savings to each of our teams' budgets.
The KRC has been renamed TGRC (Tony Graham Recreation Complex), but this is not the only big change for the complex. We have been able to bring our U22AA Lady Sens program home where they belong. TGRC is now the new home arena of the U22AA Lady Sens, who will occupy room 0 as their home base for the upcoming season and beyond. This will allow families better access to follow our intermediate high-performance team, a team that is an inspiration to all our young Rangers.
Our KGHA family has been well represented in the media lately. A big shout out to Lady Sen Jessica Cheung, who represented the program as a member of the National Women’s Under-18 team, facing off against the US in a three-game series, August 16-19 in Lake Placid, NY. Jessica was a familiar face at pathways these past few weeks. Many of our players took notice and were excited to be in the company of an international player and role model like Jessica. Jessica isn't our only member in the hockey spotlight either. Stay tuned to our channels, as we anticipate two of our female competitive coaches, Karolina Hanham and Casey Crupi, being featured by Carha during National Coaches Week.
Our U9 and U11 tryouts are in full swing at the moment. Best of luck to all our Rangers who are vying to make competitive teams at those levels. We realize that tryouts are a stressful time for most and sometimes it feels like life is on hold as these tryouts take place. For those players that are not successful at tryouts, know that the sky is still the limit and that you will have more opportunities. Our house program is second to none and will develop players in the same manner as our competitive program. Keep your heads high and continue to put in the work; good things will come.
The season is upon us and we are still seeking a U7 coach. If working with young hockey players and shaping the face of our association is something that excites you, then we encourage you to reach out to our House VP for more information about the opportunity. We are thankful and appreciative of anyone who thinks they may have an interest in taking on this role. The successful candidate will be well supported to ensure we put them in a position to succeed and to develop our future Rangers/Lady Sens.
The executive's next priority is putting the finishing touches on the association's development plan and budget for the upcoming season. This includes not only the development of our players, but our coaches as well. The executive intends to put additional focus on the goaltender position this season (and beyond), to ensure that we are securing goalies at the grassroots level while developing and retaining those resources for years to come. We have seen a decline in goaltenders at various levels and need to be proactive and creative in recruiting and developing goalies from within the association.
With all of that said, the future of the association is bright, as is the #KGHA2324 season that lies ahead. Myself and your KGHA executive look forward to serving you and finding new ways to improve our premiere programming. Our door is always open, please don't hesitate to reach out. We extend our best to everyone this season. Let's go Rangers!
Yours in hockey,