March 14, 2016 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - A lack of rink time may put a local women’s hockey league on ice.
The Kamloops Women’s Recreational Hockey League has seen a big dip in participation since the closure of the Ice Box Arena last summer and league secretary Lynn Gottfriedson says they would like the city to build another ice surface.
Gottfriedson says with one less rink in Kamloops, the women’s league has had to find times on other already busy ice surfaces. This means the women’s league had to move to later start times with games starting at either 9:30 p.m. or 10:15 p.m. on weekday nights, which lead to some players getting home well after midnight.
“The Ice Box really focused on providing ice times for the women’s and mens league,” she says.
The women’s league has shrunk from an average of eight teams of 15 to 18 women each to just five teams this season she says, and it’s likely the league will lose more players before next season.
The league took a survey to determine player interest with the current ice times with underwhelming interest. Gottfriedson says 63 per cent said they would not return.
She says a lot of the players are single mothers. They include shift workers, nurses and business owners who need to be up early in the morning and arriving home after midnight a couple nights of the week is not something they can afford to do.
“It was too hard for them,” she says. “You could kinda get by on once a week, but twice week is too much.”
In an effort to get better ice times, Gottfriendson says the league has discussed the situation with city officials to try to work out better game times on city rinks.
She says there’s been some discussion about taking ice time earlier in the evening that is being used by city programs, if those programs are being underutilized.
“We’re not trying to take any ice time from other user groups like minor hockey,” she says.
Gottfriendson says while they have shown up to the public consultations on aquatic facilities in North Kamloops it’s not to take away from the pools, but to tell the city other facilities are needed.
“We just would like to see another ice surface. It doesn’t matter where it is. We’re not here to be antagonists. We’d just like to put the word out there.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016