February Newsletter 2023

Welcome to newsletter No.1 for 2023. This year we're going to try to keep you even more informed about what's happening with all things Wellington Ice Hockey.

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Who we are Below are the WIHA Board Members for 2023. The board meets monthly to discuss and plan for ice hockey events and growth in Wellington. If you have any questions or feedback, below are the various people you can touch base with: President - Mischa Saunders General Manager - Caleb Hance VP Operations - Hannah Vanderveen VP Adults - Neil Beales VP Youth - Caleb Hance VP Womens - Shelley Winters VP Comms - Paul Edlin Treasurer - Matt Thompson Secretary - Luke Turner Message from the President As we lean into 2023, it is clear that ice hockey in Wellington is ready to grow to new heights! Starting today, WIHA has its first-ever General Manager, Caleb Hance, who we are very excited to welcome on board to help with the heavy lifting to make this growth possible. There is a lot of exciting programming scheduled for the upcoming year, including our first youth-only league, our U12 Super League! The league will offer children the ability to learn or extend their ice hockey skills and gameplay with an emphasis on fun. Games will be cross-ice, 3-on-3 format with 2-3 lines per team and will start in Term 2. For our adult players, we’re also offering some pre-season Learn to Play/Skills Training (see below) and are hoping to offer more throughout the year. With the prospect of the improved ice rink to look forward to from March (see note below), as well as the additional programs and many plans in the pipeline, our hope is that more regular updates will help everyone stay informed and up to date and we’d love your feedback. Finally thanks to Matt Jarry for pulling together this first newsletter, and hopefully providing more information to our members is one new year's resolution we will be able to keep in 2023! -Mischa Saunders Message from the (new) General Manager I am thrilled to have been offered the position of General Manager for the Wellington Ice Hockey Association! It’s always been a dream of mine to work in hockey as it’s been a passion since I first put on skates at five years old. Growing up in Colorado allowed me to be around the game a lot and has helped me learn much over the years that I hope to pass on to our ever-growing club here in Wellington! Since arriving in New Zealand I’ve also been a part of the Mackenzie Bull Tahrs and helped develop some of the youth in Tekapo, but am really looking forward to continuing the growth of our youth program and competing with other clubs around the country. We have a great ice hockey community here in Wellington and already have so much talent with players and a coach already on New Zealand's national teams. It’s my goal to develop more players and coaches to represent New Zealand and Wellington, but before that to have an all-inclusive club where everyone feels welcome and can enjoy the game. -Caleb Hance Reminder to register Don't forget to register for the 2023 Adult Season. Register now to save $100 on seasons fees! Based on feedback from players last season, this year there will be one long season which spans the year rather than two shorter seasons. The season will run from March 26th to October 8th and consist of three grades. All grades are non-checking and are mainly distinguished by the speed of the game. Teams play one game per week. Early bird registration closes on 20th February. Click here to register for the Adult League Message from (new) VP of Adult Hockey I am excited to take up the position of VP of Adult Hockey and hope to be able to bring my lifelong interest and passion for the game to assist in driving some initiatives for the year. My involvement with the game goes back to my childhood, although admittedly I didn't get the chance to skate or play much in my twenties I did have the opportunity to return to the game in my thirties in the UK. I have always enjoyed the recreational aspects of the sport, having realised at a very early age that the NHL was unlikely to come knocking on my door any time soon! On moving to New Zealand in 2009 I played in Auckland for a number of years and hung my skates up in 2013 when I moved to Wellington. With the opening of the rink and the formation of WIHA, I decided that age need not be a deterrent and have thoroughly enjoyed the last 2 seasons as I laced up the boots again. The community growing at the rink has a very special feel and I feel fortunate to get involved at an organisational level with a very dedicated group of people striving to improve the experience for all. Discussions have already begun about the possibility of organising regular adult training sessions. With such a range of skills across the 3 grades, and knowing that many players are keen to improve we think this may be quite a popular introduction. It will need some planning and costing to be discussed to ensure it is viable for all but we will work on this and advise accordingly. We will send out communication gauging your interest in this in due course. Further initiatives include the possibility of arranging more tournaments for the year. Ice time is of course at a premium, and we are conscious that all these things add costs to players at a time when most people are having to tighten belts, so we do need to be cognisant of that. However we also know that these opportunities are appreciated by many so again, we will gauge interest. I would also like to explore an idea for a season opener (or closer) of hosting a skills competition. This could be done as a charitable fundraiser and an opportunity for press and PR. Knowing how players love to chirp away at each other and enjoy healthy and friendly banter, this could be a way for those wishing to claim some bragging rights for the season to earn them for all to see. So lots of things are on the go, and hopefully, many of you will be able to offer your own ideas and suggestions, so we can continue with a healthy and vibrant dialogue with WIHA members. I look forward to 2023 and all that it will bring. -Neil Beales Pre-season Training Sessions Start the year off right by learning to play ice hockey or brushing up on your skills in preparation for the 2023 season! For the first 3 Tuesdays in March, we'll have experienced coaches providing tips, tricks and drills to get you skating in the right direction! These sessions are open to everyone who can skate without assistance - no matter how slowly! The drills are suited to all skill levels, with opportunities for advanced players to sharpen their skills as well as for absolute beginners to learn the joys of the game! Click here to register for the Pre-Season Training Sessions Scrimmages This is for players new to WIHA scrimmages. Scrimmages (or scrims) are a fun way to socialise with the other players, practice skills, and play with players either across teams or across grades. Scrim times and days are posted 2-3 days in advance on the WIHA Facebook page. Scrimmages are often open grade, though sometimes there may be times when they’re for more advanced or novice players. When scrimmages are announced the organiser of that scrim will specify what playing level will be suited for. Here are a few loose ‘rules’ about scrims: • Pay when you arrive. Some players forget to do this if there isn’t anyone at the desk. Be patient and wait until someone arrives for payment before you gear up, that ensures no missed payments and no grumpy ice rink staff. • Play to the ability of most players. More advanced players should keep an eye out for less skilled players when marking them. • Be in control. Some skaters are quite quick and need to sometimes slow down so as not to injure themselves or others. Also, watch the shots. Some players may take a ‘wild’ shot (often a slap shot) and this can cause injury to the other players. • Chat with the goalies. It would be good if the more advanced players check with the goalies to see if they’re good with a more aggressive shooting style. Some newer goalies may be a bit nervous to block an 80 km shot. • When a goal is scored against your team, you need to fire the puck back to the team who just scored. • If you commit on-line to playing then show up or communicate that you have to cancel as we need 10 players to make scrims work. • Goalies don’t pack away the nets at the end of the scrim. They’ve put in a lot of mahi/hard work without a break, so one of the skaters should take this responsibility. • There are no referees, so play fair and clean. Generally the scrims are self-regulating with off-sides, etc.

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