Girls minor hockey growing

Penticton Minor Hockey Association’s female program is seeing steady growth.

Penticton Minor Hockey Association will ice six female teams this season

Penticton Minor Hockey Association will ice six female teams this season

Penticton Minor Hockey Association’s female program is seeing steady growth.

The association has 95 players registered on six teams — novice, two atom, peewee rec, midget rec and midget rep. Director Barb Main said numbers are looking good with the sport offering girls another option that is fun while providing athleticism and team bonding.

“There are new kids playing every year,” said Main. “The program is just growing every year.”

This season the midget rep squad will include players from Kelowna after the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association folded its program. Main said that is a good thing for Penticton to have those players choose to come play for them.

Along with a schedule of regular season games in the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association, there will be a 24-team tournament on Nov. 26 to 27. Along with providing the players exposure, Main said they will able to play on their home ice with family and friends watching.

“Hopefully expose more of the community to girls hockey,” she said.

PMHA may also host a jamboree, however, Main wasn’t able to go into detail about it as nothing is set as of yet.

One area that excited Main about the season is the calibre of coaching players will receive. Andy Oakes, president of the Okanagan Hockey Group, is coaching the peewee rec team, while Ryan Hawes brings his junior hockey experience. Main said being able to provide high level coaching is always a big thing.

“It validates our program,” said Main, adding that Hockey Canada and coach co-ordinator Rod Kenney are able to provide support.