I wanted to take a moment to check in with everyone and hope everyone is doing well despite these trying times. The past season seems like such a distant memory and the upcoming season still feels so far away. However, it will come and when it does we will be here ready to welcome our hockey family back. I've held off on sending too many updates because I am sure you are all like me and a bit tired of so many emails with the same information regurgitated over and over; so I promise to keep these email hockey focused.
With the numbers of COVID-19 cases rising and news of schools being done for the school year, the information and guidelines continue to change. We do not have any tryout dates, but will send them once we received the green light from MAHA. We are fortunate to be a larger association with multiple sheets of ice available. I have been assured by rink personnel that they will be ready in some capacity once the restrictions are lifted; in the meanwhile they are completing deep cleaning and maintenance. The health and safety of our players and families is our top priority and we respect the decisions and fears that many have expressed.
The landscape of hockey may look a little different once we are able to return to the ice. With record levels of unemployment (hopefully temporary), families will be forced to make difficult decisions with their finances. As a non-profit association, we do not have much latitude with the costs of our programs. I will do my best to argue against any significant ice fee increases, and seek opportunities to combine ice and offer lower cost options for those affected.
We plan to evaluate our travel numbers to determine the viability of our teams. I invite those looking for smaller time and financial commitments to consider our house program. We will also look into some new programs such as non-LCAHL house teams to limit travel cost or putting together a 3-on-3 league that would play every or every-other week. The primary goal is to extend as many options as possible and keep as many kids on the ice as we can.
To summarize, the board plans to be prepared when we overcome this battle and hope to see everyone return, healthy and ready to play. If anyone has any suggestions to keep kids in the game or other ways to help each other, please let me or any of the other board members know. In the meanwhile, kids can practice off-ice skills by shooting pucks, stick handling, or rollerblading around the driveway. I am also looking into some training opportunities to help jump start the season when the time comes.
My thoughts and prayers to anyone who is or has loved ones affected by this pandemic, and hope to see everyone soon. I know how hard this has been on my boys and expect we are all in this together.
John P. Popma
President, Kensington Valley Hockey Association
9864 E. Grand River, Suite 110 - #312
Brighton, MI 48116
Office Phone: (810) 229 - 6087