by LAURA KEIL
McBride minor hockey registration plummeted this year from over 30 players last year to just nine, and it’s left organizers scratching their heads.
Coach Jen Quam says she isn’t sure why so few players returned this year. Some were new to the sport last year after a big recruitment push and offers of free equipment. Quam says they bought 19 players gear last year and spent $6800 with grants. But few of those new players – and their equipment – returned this year.
Quam says they have one bantam player, 7 peewees and 1 atom. The players will join Valemount for practices and tournaments as they have done in previous years.
Valemount minor hockey organizer April Smith says Valemount has roughly the same number of players as last year – 43 in total. They have 10 Tykes, 7 Novices, 9 Atoms, 9 Peewees, 8 Bantams and no Midgets.
Smith says if they are short for a team they bring up players from the lower age group team.
Both Quam and Smith say they always welcome new players at any time during the year.
Quam says they received a $2,304.93 grant from the Canucks to go towards their minor hockey program. She says they aren’t sure yet where they will spend the money.