Competitive hockey not the only sport on the ice this fall

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Ringette, recreational skating and recreational hockey will join minor, junior and senior hockey on the ice this fall. – Morinville News File Photos

Family-Skate-At-The-Arenaby Morinville News Staff

Morinville – Although competitive hockey will dominate the ice when it reappears in the Ray McDonald Sports Center later this month, it is not the only activity planned this hockey season. FunTeam Hockey, ringette and more skating opportunities will also share the frozen oval.

Tyler Edworthy, Morinville’s Operations and Program Coordinator, said the Morinville Mavericks would be taken on by the Town of Morinville this year, offering recreational hockey in the community through a program that focuses on skill development while limiting the amount of travelling. “It’s non competitive,” he said. “What we’re going to try and do this year is make sure that their skill base [is there] so that if they do wish, as they get older, want to play minor hockey, that they are given that opportunity as well.”

Ringette is being brought to Town by Andre and Lisa Houle and will run in line with the Mavericks program. Last spring the Houles held an open house that drew sufficient interest for them to move forward with the program in Morinville this fall.

The Houles were motivated by the lack of interest in hockey among girls, and are hoping the game invented in Ontario in 1963 and played throughout the country today, will catch on in the area.

Ringette players carry straight hollow sticks to control a blue plastic ring that is shot into the opponent’s net. The game is similar to hockey in that respect but is more focused on passing than hockey. Ringette teams generally consist of 16 to 18 players.

While hockey and ringette sticks will be well represented on the ice this year, there is still plenty of room for those who just like to feel the ice beneath their blades. Like other aspects of sports and recreation, Edworthy is looking to further develop the skills of recreational skaters as well.
Level 1 is geared for children and all about getting mobile. It focuses on learning to get up properly and developing their stride. Level 2 is doing the same thing backwards. “Now we’re going to move into the Can Skate program, which is a skating development program that leads into either power skating or figure skating,” Edworthy said, adding although the programs are geared towards children, he would love to have a learn-to-skate program for adults and would implement one if there is sufficient interest in the community.

For more information on this summer’s hockey camp, contact Tyler Edworthy at 780-939-7834 or 780-939-7839. Those interested in registering can also do so online through the town of Morinville’s website at Morinville.ca.

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