By Darryl G. Smart
Norfolk Minor Hockey Association took a giant leap towards being a reality this week.
On Wednesday, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association approved the rep partnership between Waterford, Simcoe and Port Dover’s minor hockey associations.
The group leading the NMHA charge presented its case to the OMHA on Saturday to its board of directors.
The green light allows the three local minor hockey associations to amalgamate its rep programs for the 2020-2021 season. NMHA has been approved to be an ‘A’ hockey centre.
“NMHA will complement the three associations, allowing for a comprehensive hockey program that will satisfy the needs of all hockey players and ensure our players have fun and maximize development,” a press release reads. “Further, this change will provide a higher level of competitive hockey in Norfolk and will result in greater player retention, attraction of new players from outside our area, and will keep our players playing longer, thereby increasing enrollment immediately and growing it further in the longer term.”
This approval has been years in the making, and certainly had its ups and downs.
Last year, Port Dover and Simcoe’s membership voted in favour of getting to this point. While Waterford’s did not. And after the NMHA committee met again with the three associations this season with more information, all three gave the green light to go ahead.
Now that the OMHA has approved the partnership, the next step is for the local boards to appoint directors to form the NMHA board. This will take place in February.
Also in that month, NMHA will hold its first board meeting, while communicating it to its members.
In March, coaching interviews will be held, with tryouts for U12 (formerly peewee) and above to take place in April.