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Timbits hockey to be free in Cumberland County Minor Hockey


Cumberland County Minor Hockey is waiving the registration fee for Timbits players this season thanks to the support from several community groups.

Cumberland County Minor Hockey is waiving the registration fee for Timbits players this season thanks to the support from several community groups. The CCMHA hopes this will help grow the number of players in the youngest division of minor hockey.

AMHERST – At a time when the cost of playing hockey continues to escalate the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association will be offering free registration to all players in its youngest division for the 2014-15 season.

With support from a group of supporters, minor hockey is waiving the registration fee for the Tim Hortons Timbits program.

“This is something we’ve been talking about for several years and thanks to the support of these groups we’re able to offer free minor hockey to all Timbits this year,” CCMHA executive member Robert Bird said Tuesday. “One of the things we’ve been hearing about why kids aren’t playing minor hockey is because of the cost. We hope that by waiving the fee more kids will come out and try hockey this season and become longtime hockey players.”

The registration fee for Timbits (ages four to six) is $195 per player. Players, Bird said, will still be responsible for the minor hockey fundraiser (selling $10 Dream tickets). The $100 will be collected at registration.

Online registration can be completed at https://ccmha.goalline.ca/registration.php?id=1605. Walk-in registration sessions are set for Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Richard Calder Arena in Springhill and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Amherst Stadium.

Bird estimates the cost of the initiative – that includes covering icetime, insurance and Hockey Nova Scotia fees – to be approximately $12,000.

“It’s something that a few of us started talking about a couple of years ago and it just started gaining momentum. We spoke to a few people in the community and had some sponsors come on board to show their support of minor hockey,” Bird said. “The minor hockey executive met last night and we have the funding in place to make this a reality. Hopefully we’ll be able to do some fundraising to keep it in place in future years or maybe even expand it to other age groups.”

Bird hopes the initiative will encourage more parents to let their children try hockey and he would like to see additional initiatives in future that could support older players or provide cheaper equipment.

“It’s no secret that minor hockey registration is going down across the country and one of the biggest reasons is the cost. If we can remove one barrier maybe we can get more young children playing, maybe we can do something like a gear exchange to get others playing,” Bird said.

President Michelle Meekins said credited Bird with taking the lead on this and sees nothing but good things coming from it.

“I really believe this is going to help encourage more children to play,” she said.

Meekins said a lot of parents assume minor hockey is unaffordable and don’t give their children the opportunity to play when there are programs out there to support them. She said a lot of people don’t apply for support through Kid Sport or Jump Start because they don’t want the stigma.

“It’s completely anonymous and there should be no stigma attached to applying to either organization so your child can play,” she said. “The goal of both programs is to make hockey more affordable so more children can be physically active.”

Along with registration, this is also Welcome Back Weekend for minor hockey with a number of ice times in Amherst and Springhill.

Following is the schedule for the weekend:

Saturday

Amherst Stadium

12:45 p.m. First-year Novice

2 p.m. Second-year Novice

3:15 p.m. First-year Atom

4:30 p.m. Second-year Atom

Springhill

9 a.m. First-year Peewee

10:15 a.m. Second-year Peewee

11:30 a.m. First-year Bantam

12:45 p.m. Second-year Bantam

6:30 p.m. First-year Midget

7:45 p.m. Second-year Midget

Sunday

Amherst

12:45 p.m. First-year Peewee

2 p.m.  Second-year Peewee

3:15 p.m. First-year Bantam

4:30 p.m. Second-year Bantam

Springhill

9 a.m. First-year Novice

10:15 a.m. Second-year Novice

11:30 a.m. First-year Atom

12:45 p.m. Second-year Atom

6:30 p.m. First-year Midget

7:45 p.m. Second-year Midget

Provincial team tryouts will be held the weekend of Sept. 20-21.

Tim Hortons Timbits will begin on-ice sessions on Sept. 21.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

 

 

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