Novice initiation hockey in Sooke has seen massive growth in the last four years, and it bodes well for the sports future locally, says the head coach of Sooke Minor Hockey.
This year 86 children are registered to play novice initiation – that’s nearly triple from the 32 players that signed up four years ago.
“It’s really exciting for the association moving forward because our numbers did drop a few years ago,” said Nick Szadkowski.
“And we’re definitely feeling it in the bantam and pee wee divisions right now.”
Szadkowski hopes the new wave of players will help bolster future teams and keep Sooke Minor Hockey strong into the future.
Over the last four years Sooke Minor Hockey changed the novice initiation program when it realized the numbers needed to increase to save hockey here.
The association went to a program that went to half ice, instead of using the full rink, and made other necessary changes.
Szadkowski credits novice initiation coach Rob Wilson for the program’s success.
“The word soon got out and the kids were having fun … people were coming down to watch and thought it would be great for their kids,” Szadkowski said.
“Soon 20 extra kids signed up – and it just kept growing and growing.”