The Portage Minor Hockey Association is thrilled to have another season on the horizon. The PMHA is currently in the registration phase, and president Travis Foster says they are really happy with the amount of players that have signed up.

"Numbers are looking fantastic. A big reason for that is due to the growth of female hockey in Portage as well as in the entirety of Manitoba," Foster explains. "For the boys as well, registration seems to be almost at an all-time high. The one area where we are lacking a little bit is with the little guys, the U7 group."

After a couple of years of having to jump through a plethora of hoops due to COVID-19, Foster believes kids are even more intrigued to play, knowing they won't have to deal with all the obstacles.

"I think parents, as well as kids, are eager to get back to regular life. For a lot of us Canadians, our regular life is living at the rink," Foster continues. "So, it'll be good to get back to the old days of spending evenings at the arena and watching the kids on the ice."

While the pandemic on the back-burner has enticed more players and parents to get on the ice, it has also made life a lot easier for Foster and the rest of the behind-the-scenes crew. 

"It's very nice to not have to worry about vaccinations or anything like that. Just like everywhere else, our arenas are wide open. We're still asking if a child is showing flu-like symptoms, they stay away from the rink for at least a few days. Other than that, it seems to be right back to normal again."

Foster adds they are still accepting new additions to all ages but are especially encouraging players at the U7 level (ages four, five, and six) to give hockey a try.

"I would really push parents to try it out. We have a great group of coaches that are with this young group, and we would love to see some new faces out on the ice," says Foster. "Sometimes the start of the season is a little bit of picking kids up off the ice and getting them moving, but once the kids get into it, they absolutely love it. That's why we see our numbers at the older ages not changing."

Foster says they are closing registration shortly but for anyone still looking to sign up click here for more information.