Members of the Surrey Minor Hockey Association gathered for a photo after winning B.C. Hockey's Association of the Year award in Penticton.

Provincial award for Surrey Minor

Youth hockey group named B.C. Hockey’s Association of the Year

They do it for the players, not for recognition.

Still, Surrey Minor Hockey Association president Jamie Allen admits winning a major award at BC Hockey’s annual general meeting in Penticton June 25 is a well-deserved honour for the group’s hundreds of volunteers.

“Our group up there was very surprised,” said Allen. “But it’s nice for volunteers to be recognized. They put in a lot of hard work. Eighty per cent of our association is volunteers, the managers, team moms, coaches, the 50/50 people, the timekeepers and scorekeepers.”

Surrey Minor Hockey was named the Association of the Year at a season-ending awards banquet, the second such honour in the past 20 years.

“The groundwork was laid out by past presidents and executives, with the policies they put in place. And we hold people to a high level of community support. That shows good character to the kids.”

In addition to playing hockey, the association’s teams also get involved in the community. The Pee Wee C Canucks team collected 750 pounds of food, which was donated to the Surrey Food Bank. And the Bantam Tier 1 team voluntered at the food bank, sorting and packing donations.

On the ice, Surrey Minor Hockey offers a little extra to all involved in the game.

Weekly clinics for on-ice officials, goaltenders and coaches were cited as a few of the programs Surrey Minor Hockey has implemented to develop all members of the association, as were power skating lessons for house league players and a Learning the Game online tutorial on the association’s website.

“We don’t develop kids to win in the Atom (9-10)  Pee Wee (11-12) age groups,” said Allen. “We teach them skating and basic skills, and we do try to be competitive.

“But we try to win at Bantam (13-14) and Midget (15-17).”

The strategy seems to be working. Midget teams from Surrey won BC Hockey championships in the Tier 1 and Tier 4 categories, while placing third in Tier 3.

Repeating that success will be difficult, as roughly 13 players from the Surrey Minor Hockey Association are moving on to the Junior level next season.

“We like to move the kids along,” said Allen. “At the same time, we also lose quality kids.

“But we’re fulfilling the dreams of kids, and that’s pretty cool.”

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