Fundy Hockey School celebrating 30th anniversary

Dave
Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST – Good ideas often start with one person, and for the Fundy Hockey School that person was Roy Maltby.

AMHERST – Good ideas often start with one person, and for the Fundy Hockey School that person was Roy Maltby.

“Roy Maltby approached me and wanted to know if I wanted to help put a hockey school together,” said Tim Ripley, the first on-ice coordinator and instructor for the Fundy Hockey School. “That’s how we got started. Roy did most of the off-ice end of it.”

The Fundy Hockey School is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and Ripley, who is 63-years-old, was an instructor at the school for the first 17 years.

Maltby, at the age of 77, is still going strong as an advisor to the school.

“I think that Keith Blenkhorn was one of the first chairs of the program,” said Maltby. “So Keith and Tim certainly had a lot of input when we first got going.”

Maltby said there was a need for a hockey school in Cumberland County.

“We needed a local school so kids could get some hockey training at a reasonable price before the beginning of the hockey season,” he said.

Sponsorship was, and is, key to helping keep the price of the school down.

“The Wandlyn Inn and Fort Equipment have been there for a long time, and this year CIBC Wood Gundy came on to provide additional support so we could better celebrate our 30th anniversary,” said Maltby.

The Wandlyn Inn has been there since day one.

“It was originally called the Fundy Wandlyn Hockey School,” said Ripley. “Fort Equipment was one of our major sponsors initially as well.”

Ripley said the program was popular that first year, and continues to be very popular to this day.

“We brought in a few outside instructors, but after the first couple of years we went with local instructors that I hired. I think that’s similar to what it is today,” he said.

Before being an instructor at the hockey school Ripley, who is from Amherst, played junior hockey with the Halifax Junior Canadiens beginning in 1966.

After his junior career was over he attended St. Mary’s University where he captained their hockey team to four Atlantic championships in a row.

While in University he also attended the 1972 World Student Games in Lake Placid, New York, playing on the Canada Student National Team, which was made up of  the top university players from across the country.

He also coached the Junior A Halifax Lions before moving back to Amherst where he has worked with the MHL Ramblers for the past 18 years, including his current job as assistant coach.

He says hockey provides a way for young people to learn about discipline.

“Hockey teaches kids to deal with adversity, that’s something that life throws at you, and it’s the same thing with hockey,” he said. “You’re trying to create an atmosphere where the kids try to be their best.  It’s not about being the best person on the ice but trying to get them to be at their best.”

The Fundy Hockey School continues to give top-flight instruction to youth from throughout both Cumberland and Westmoreland County.

“The quality of the program has improved over the years as hockey has improved and equipment has changed,” said Maltby. “And our head instructor this year, Corey Crocker, is doing a great job. All the instructors are doing a great job.”

Maltby also thanked former coaches such as Ripley, David Crocker, Darren Nixon and Jeff Lewis, and he also thanked Daren White for designing the Fundy Hockey School logo.

Maltby hopes the hockey school continues for at least another 30 years.

"The hockey school is still going strong," he said. "Hopefully we're going to bring on some new support staff to work with the existing hockey school staff to help make sure it keeps going strong."

  

 

 

Organizations: Fundy Wandlyn Hockey School, Wandlyn Inn, CIBC Wood Gundy Halifax Junior Canadiens Canada Student National Team

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County, Mary Lake Placid, New York Westmoreland County

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