Alberta Hockey Summit
The 2013 Alberta Hockey Summit was a significant event in helping establish the overall direction for the growth of amateur hockey in Alberta.
The event was attended by over 200 delegates, and included a keynote address by Ken Dryden, and presentations by Ryan Walter (President, Abbotsford Heat), Dr. Stephen Norris (former Vice-President of Sport with WinSport Canada), and George Kingston (Managing Director of the NHL Coaches Association). The delegate group was made up of representatives from varying levels of hockey, including Hockey Canada, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Western Hockey League, minor hockey associations, CIS and ACAC, sports schools and facility operators.
During the Summit, participants discussed and reviewed the current state of hockey in Alberta, identified and addressed the key issues and concerns facing the game, and established a shared vision for the game in Alberta. In doing so, the key stakeholders were aligned around a common purpose and process to help make Alberta a world leader for advancing the game.
Seven key themes were identified as integral to establishing the direction towards a shared vision for hockey in Alberta:
1. Shared Leadership Across Sports
- Promote families registering their children in multiple sports and reducing the cost
- Modifying or removing boundaries to line up opportunities
- Focus efforts on communities that are willing to accept change
2. Train our Future Leaders
- Identify leaders at younger ages and train them to be great volunteers
- Clearly outline what leadership skills we are trying to develop
- Active recruitment of graduating players
3. Strengthen Business Relationships
- Identify businesses with a vested interest who can help
- Use the size of the game to leverage relationships
4. Develop a Model for the Ideal Local Minor Hockey Association
- Built by hockey in Alberta for hockey in Alberta
- Establish metrics of success for programming
- Emphasize the principles of Long-Term Athlete Development
5. Reduce System Bias
- Manage the Age of Determination Date to benefit a broader cross section of players
- Pay attention to the next generation
- Remove the one-size-fits-all system that discourages participation
6. Open the Doors to Non-Traditional Participants
- Change the perception of our game – fun, family, friendly, flexible
- Work with ethnic communication groups to speak the ‘best’ language
- Remove the perception of who the game is for
7. Focus on the Player
- FUN – what is it, how do we deliver it
- Development programs designed for player need
- Shrink the game to their size
To read a copy of the full report from the Alberta Hockey Summit, click here.