Thursday, October 22, 2020

WARMINGTON: COVID kills minor hockey in Mississauga and elsewhere


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Just like that the kids, who already had their 2019 playoffs stolen, miss a full season of hockey development and fun — and not because anybody has tested positive.

“It’s very unfortunate,” said MHL Executive Director Jeff Leavens.

A coach himself, he explained “financial considerations” were also paramount in deciding to “write off the whole year.”

A newsletter added the MHL is “unable to make any plans or commitments for what the season may look like let alone all the ice contracts, uniforms and equipment that must be organized to run our league. No one can accurately predict what the weeks ahead hold in store.”

The coronavirus is now spreading in a different way.

“We have now had three house-league organizations determine that they were ceasing operation this season,” said Scott Oakman, the GTHL’s executive director and chief operating officer.

He added the “East York Hockey Association, Amesbury/Bert Robinson House League and Streetsville Hockey League” have also given up on the season.

Oakman said “our other 77 members are still planning on operating” at some point and the GTHL still has “plans and protocols” to resume Jan. 1.

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“We are hopeful that, when the time is right, we can begin some modified programming that will give children and youth an opportunity to participate again,” added Oakman.

But right now, the dreams of the 4,000 kids who play in the MHL are on thin ice.

It just doesn’t seem right to me.

If corporate malls, box stores, fast food joints and schools can find a way, why not minor hockey? Why can’t parents bring players to games already dressed in their equipment?

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