For the last few years, the Nakusp Minor Hockey (NMH) Executive has been faced with a drastically declining enrolment. With the future of Minor Hockey in Nakusp in jeopardy, the Executive realized the need to bring kids back to hockey.
After tossing around many different ideas, we were pleased to have local hockey enthusiast & former Nakusp Minor Hockey Coach, Darren Wethal, come forward with his idea of a scrimmage league. Since it fit right into discussions about what the Executive was trying to implement for Minor Hockey, the idea was quickly adopted and went full speed ahead.
With a few tweaks here and there, the program was developed and implemented in only five weeks. With an enrolment of 28 kids, the Executive is calling it a huge success.
The Scrimmage League is a nine week long program on Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30, with no travel and no parent volunteer time required. Players ages 4 to 12, take part in a short practice and then move into a scrimmage, which is refereed by a NMH junior referee, and timed and scored by parents.
This is a great way for kids who have never played in a game or have limited experience in a game situation, to learn the rules and experience what it is like to be a part of a team. Nakusp Minor Hockey was also able to provide equipment to 17 hockey players this year through our new equipment loan program. Thanks to grant money received from the Nakusp Regional Recreation Commission in 2010, NMH was able to purchase several sets of brand new equipment in various sizes, and when the local sports store closed its doors, NMH Equipment Manager Kristy Robins was able to purchase their remaining new and used hockey equipment stock, which gave NMH a large quantity of equipment to lend.
Due to the success of this first scrimmage league session, NMH is hoping to run a second scrimmage session after Christmas. With enrolment up from 12 players to 25 players in the Junior/Senior Novice program this year, we are off to a great start at reviving hockey in Nakusp!