Good day everyone,
At this special time of year and as I reflect on the activities during the first half of the season of the Lasalle Minor Hockey Association, I am filled with immense pride over the accomplishments of the many volunteers who have unselfishly given their time to contribute to the LMHA’s successes. These people create the conditions that are necessary for an organization such as ours to fulfill its mandate of providing for our participants a healthy and safe activity and enjoyment of Canada’s great game of hockey while at the same time, serving the people of the Lasalle community.
The spirit of the season is alive! I would like to recognize all of those who helped to organize and also supported and donated funds to the 77 Classic tournament. Your charity initiative and honour to those who have passed before us will not be soon forgotten. A number of our travel teams have helped to put the LMHA on the map through their tournament successes. Speaking of tournaments, how about that most successful LMHA return to the tournament scene led by our very own Events Director Helen Bolton! Many compliments were received by the organizers from the teams that participated. All the best to the teams involved with the Hockey for Hospice tournament. A most worthy cause indeed! I would also mention that the LMHA has had some very open and honest discussions with the new administration at the Town of Lasalle Recreational Department. We very much appreciate the communication and dialogue that has transpired between us and look forward to working with you in that capacity.
While we are experiencing many successes, the LMHA, like other hockey organizations, recognizes that there are surely areas we need to get better at. As we are home this season with our families, perhaps it is time to reflect upon the privilege, not right, to participate in Canada’s game. To name a few areas of concern, I list the following that have occurred and come to my attention:
· Spectators confronting coaches in front of young players
· Coaches being verbally abusive to the officials
· Communication protocols ignored – the 24-hour rule, attempt to resolve issues first with parent liaison (travel), then coach, division director, VP of house or travel, the 1st VP of Policy & Discipline – in that order.
This is not an exhaustive list but a few that are the most frequent regarding breaches of the Code of Conduct and the Respect in Sport Parent Program. The ROOTS program, that we aspire to as role models for our children, remain posted at Rink B as a reminder of our core values and philosophy:
Respect the Rules
Respect for Officials
Respect for Opponents
Respect for Team
Respect for one’s Self
I am aware and thankful that there are also parents out there who have attempted to do their part to curb such incidents both in the stands and around the rink. Hockey is certainly an emotional game. If our children are to have fun playing and learning the game, we need to have all of us do our part to make it so by positively supporting the players, coaches, referees, volunteers, board members and each other. That is the expectation that we, as an organization, will not waver from.
A special thank you to Coaches, On-Ice Helpers, LMHA Board Members and other Volunteers for the staggering amount of hours you give to the LMHA. We would not have a hockey program without you! We experience in Lasalle a healthy participation level and wish to honour the game by honouring the whole purpose about why we are here – to make a better community and give young people a healthy activity where they can have fun while learning our great game! Congratulations to all!
Regarding tournaments and family travel during this season, we wish safe travels and many successes both on and off of the ice. May you have a restful and wonderful time with your loved ones.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
Lasalle Minor Hockey Association