Craig Didmon’s peewee A Thunderbirds pile in for a team photo with their bronze medals won from the Thanksgiving Day Cup in Vancouver. Front row

Craig Didmon a true blue hockey man

A lot of fans will tell you that they live, breathe and sleep hockey. Few, though, can likely compete with Sooke resident Craig Didmon

A lot of hockey fans will tell you that they live, breathe and sleep hockey. Few, though, can likely compete with Sooke resident Craig Didmon who coaches three different levels of the sport.

Joining the wildly popular WHL Victoria Royals as assistant coach this year, Didmon has also run the Westshore Hockey Academy for the last seven seasons and looks after head coaching duties for the Sooke Minor Hockey peewee A minor team that his 12-year-old son Ty plays on.

“It’s quite the contrast going from the Royals to the peewee T-birds,” said Didmon. “Some of it’s the same stuff — getting to the same spots, getting to the same positioning. With the Royals there are higher expectations and the message is a little sterner.”

Coming from a hockey family, he said it was a natural transition to get into coaching. Although he had some success as a player — recording 50 goals and 106 points in his last year as a centreman in the BC Hockey League in 1992 — his real love was coaching which he had actually starting doing as a teenager.

“My father was a coach for 30 years and a western league scout,” said Didmon. “He was coaching bantam teams and midget teams through the years, so I’d come out and help him coach.”

Entering his 18th season calling himself a coach, it all started  almost 40 years ago when he moved to the Western Communities from Burnaby in 1972 shortly after birth.

“I remember being under 10 years old and being the stick boy for the Juan de Fuca bantam team,” he said. “When I was an atom we used to come out and practice in Sooke once a week, the rink was almost new then.”

As an adult, he began his career first as a teacher. He was a counsellor at Sooke Elementary, and at Spencer where he also taught English. Then, Westshore started their hockey academy that started off with 48 kids the first year and is now one of the largest in Canada with more than 140 enrolled, said Didmon.

Rounding out his resume, he has also coached the south Island major midget team, the Victoria Grizzlies, and the Victoria Cougars — who he helped bring home a provincial championship in 2007. That all prepared him for the Royals who were looking for someone to fill the position in August. Didmon introduced himself to the general manager and head coach Marc Habscheid, and said his resume stood for itself. After a couple of interviews, he was in.

“The first thing I did was take Marc fishing out in Sooke,” he said, chuckling.

Didmon has high hopes for the future of hockey in Sooke. He admitted that for the time being, it is still a rural town with a small pool of kids to draw from.

“It makes it tough to play some of the bigger organizations like the Juan de Fucas, the Nanaimos of the world and stuff but we also have a lot of good, young coaches.”

For now, he is doing his part by helping shape young local talent on the ice.

“I feel very fortunate. It’s fun, it doesn’t really feel like work.”

 

Just Posted

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Man hospitalized after early morning Sooke Road crash

Police say injuries are non life-threatening

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

LETTERS: Sooke preschool celebrates 30th anniversary

Kingfisher Preschool to hold anniversary event May 26

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

LETTER: The sewage spiral continues in Greater Victoria

My left brain has been trying to digest the news and comments… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Most Read