Hockey season has begun

Hockey season in the West Kootenays has begun, but there are some differences this year.

It’s time to put on that gear and lace up those skates. Hockey season has arrived.

There are three teams this year: Novice: with 18 players, Atom with 10 players, and Peewee, with 16 players. Because of low enrolment, there will be no bantam or midget teams.

Nakusp isn’t the only town having issues with enrolment. It’s a problem across the West Kootenays. The rep teams for Castlegar and Nelson, who used to compete against each other, have had to combine.

Travel could be an issue for some families. With games happening in places like Castlegar, Nelson, and Spokane, getting to and from each venue can take a lot of time. Time which some families might not have. Funding might be another issue for families. Kids may want to play, but parents might not be able to afford things like hockey gear.

If a family does need help with funding, there is KidsSport. The application is right on the registration form, but it’s up to the individual families to apply. The names of those who do apply are kept confidential.

Atoms are hosting a tournament this coming weekend, which will also be the first games played by the local teams this season. Atoms play Castlegar on Sat. Oct. 24 at 11:30 a.m. and Spokane at 2 p.m. They challenge Nelson on Sun. Oct. 25 at 10:15 a.m. The Peewees play against Castlegar at 12 p.m. Come on down and cheer for your Minor Hockey teams.