Players and members of the Antigonish Minor Hockey Association are still frustrated that their group is being denied the ability to play against other females from the area. In early August, the members voted 96% in favour of remaining with the AMHA, rather than joining the new Fundy Highland Zone, which would mean less playing time, loss of the Antigonish Bulldog name and increased costs for travelling.
The AMHA claims that Hockey Nova Scotia have not listened to the concerns of locals, who are worried about the future of the minor hockey association in the area. A loss of the female players could result in a drop of 25% of memberships for the group. As a result, AMHA will be holding a community rally this weekend and continue to work creatively to find ways to provide female players with valuable on ice time.
The rally will be held at the Antigonish Arena this Saturday at 11:00.
A meeting was held Thursday evening for parents to voice their concerns about female minor hockey in the area. It was proposed to parents of female players involved with Antigonish Minor Hockey last week that they join a new association being created called the Fundy-Highland Association; which could result in higher fees, less playing time and a loss of the Bulldogs name.
Martin McLaren is president of the AMHA, and says a vote is in the parent’s hand to either stay with the AMHA, or join this new Fundy Highland Association. What he has heard from parents is that they do not want to see change:
Hockey Nova Scotia issued a release Thursday on this topic, saying that there will be no changes for this upcoming season, although many parents were skeptical about the press release. Results from the vote will be known in the coming days.
Many local parents and athletes are not pleased with recent attempts to force female hockey players into a new league. During a meeting last week, Antigonish female hockey parents met with representatives from Hockey Nova Scotia, who are trying to place female players into the Fundy Highland Association, instead of Antigonish Minor Association.
Frank Isherwood is involved with minor hockey in the area, and is not pleased with Hockey Nova Scotia dictating where players can play. Isherwood says this move would negatively impact many aspects of the game for female minor hockey in the area:
Among the changes that face the players and families is higher cost to play, less playing time, no house league, loss of the Bulldogs name and no family discounts. A meeting will be held on Thursday at 6:30 in the Antigonish Arena to reconcile the dispute.