Portage Minor Hockey's Annual General Meeting was last week.
2016 was a good year for the organization with a few new programs that were offered for players. The breakfast program was moved to a different day, powerskating was offered free to all players, and several clinics were run throughout the season including goalie development and hitting clinics. President Peter Fedak says they're planning to continue a lot of the programs with a few minor tweaks.
"We did get a lot of out of town goalies taking advantage of Goalie Development outside of Portage and looking at it there was a number from Gladstone and MacGregor. So now with a bit of a taste for the program, we can move it into Portage because we did lose a few Portage and Oakville folks. If we can keep it local in our centre here I think it's preferable and we would get a few more of our goalies out. Powerskating will be changing to not accept the squirts anymore which should accommodate ice times. The main reason for the fee for powerskating is to get some dedication, for lack of a better word, to have players come out. When we offered it for free there was a little bit a communication issue for the first week or two and after that attendance really dropped. The small fee won't cover the full cost of it, but the little fee has a bit of a psychological bit to say I paid into this so I'm going to go."
Financially PMHA had a very strong year. They received almost $15,000 from fundraising with Operation Red Nose, Scotiabank donated $15,000 during Rogers Hometown Hockey in March and another $15,000 from the RBC Cup Committee. As a result, PMHA is sitting with $155,000 in the bank and Fedak says is used to cover their operating costs as per their constitution, and a lot will go toward development.
"We want the Executive Director position were creating to not be an expense for the membership and to not come out of our developmental money either," says Fedak. "The initial salary we're looking at is $16,000, about 1000 hours of work contracted out through the year if the person does very well at the position the can receive up to -- at the discretion of the board -- a 15 per cent bonus. The person would handle all online registration, people could go by Stride Place to our office and the ED could work there. Tournament coordination, money collection in and out, to report to the Treasurer, and basically handle all the day-to-day operations. They would be the secretary at the board meetings, and ideally, after one year we could reduce the number of board members down to six or so and get conveners back in for each group."
A couple of other new things for next season will be criminal record checks for all coaching staff, and a fee will be taken from A or AA players that make the team for provincials ensuring they make the trip when selected for the team.
PMHA will also be switching to shared ice practices for Squirts and Novice players.