By Richard Bell
More than 80 people turned out for the Eastern Shore Minor Hockey Association’s annual general meeting on May 27 in the Bingo Hall of the Arena.
Outgoing president Joey Abelliera presided over the two-hour meeting. For the fiscal year ending April 30, 2018, the group had revenues of $254,79462, and expenses of $251,650.06, for a net income of $3,144.56. The Timbits Jamboree in March, 2018 was very successful, bringing in $10,000. A total of 287 players ended up participating in this year’s session, with a projection for a modest increase next year to 300.
Parents used the occasion to question the board about topics ranging from goalie gear and coaching to the allocation of coaches. Some of the association’s problems stem from its relatively small size compared to associations with several thousand members, so that ESMHA does not always have enough player to field A,B, and C teams at all levels.
There was an extended discussion about the start and finish of the season. As an older facility, rink managers cannot afford to make ice as early in the fall as newer rinks, so that teams from newer facilities have already been practicing for two weeks before ESMHA players can take the ice. Abelliera explained that all nearby rinks were booked, so that there was no place else for the kids to begin practicing.
Attendees also spent time wrestling with questions about how to make sure that every team had at least two coaches at every practice. There are strict qualifications for being a coach, complete with background checks, and the Association’s insurance is based on observing these rules.
In new business, the members voted to create two new board positions, an ice scheduler and a risk manager. Buying ice time is the Association’s single largest expense, $157,357.50 last season.