Report from the President, Annual General Meeting of KC Southside
Knights Hockey Association 2020
I would like to begin by thanking all the volunteers, coaches, assistant coaches, managers, treasurers and all the other great people who contributed to the 2019/2020 hockey season being a huge success despite the abrupt year‐ending disruption caused by COVID‐19.
I would also like to thank our board of directors who worked diligently all season to ensure a positive hockey experience for all of our players and parents. I want to thank Damian and Michelle Kane, two out‐going board members, for their many years of service to the association. Also, Tony Kurian who stepped in as Secretary this past year and helped immensely in ensuring our organization ran efficiently and effectively. We will also miss Sammi Pawchuk who has directed our Timbits program successfully for the past two years.
In the 2019/2020 season I was most struck by a comment made by our independent player evaluators who observed at the very start of the year how impressed they were with the diversity and enthusiasm of our association. This is testimony to the resilience of the Knights organization and the great parents we are proud to call our members. Thank you to the parents for enduring those early morning ice times and enthusiastically supporting your own children and their team mates. I want to thank those parents who helped other parents by picking up or dropping off players when needed.
Several new initiatives were Introduced last season with positive results for our players. These included dry land training, extra development ice with professional instruction, and pee wee mentoring for our Timbits program. The association also teamed up with the U of A Golden Bears hockey program and conducted a Knights evening out at a Bears game with the team selling the most tickets given the opportunity to practice with the university squad. The association is committed to continuing to develop these programs in the future to provide the best hockey experience available to our players.
The association also undertook new policy initiatives to help our membership understand what Knights Hockey is all about and what our expectations should be going into a hockey season1. These initiatives include a re‐examination of our goals and mandate regarding player development, the introduction of an independent dispute resolution committee, and an internalization of abuse and proper conduct policies. All these initiatives will be implemented in the coming year.
Although the 2019/2020 season was marked with many successes, it unfortunately came to an abrupt end on March 14 as a result of the COVID‐19 pandemic. With public facilities closed and the withdrawal of sanctioned events by Hockey Canada, our season ended in the playoff rounds and ultimately led to the cancellation of our annual Spring On Ice tournament. Although we were all disappointed with the outcome, the association fully supported the actions taken in order to protect the health and well being of our membership. Spring on Ice will return in the future to carry on its legacy as one of the best hockey tournaments in Edmonton attracting teams from several parts of Canada.
This brings us to the coming season, and what to expect. At this point we are moving forward with the assumption that hockey will resume this fall. The Knights organization is accepting registrations now with the understanding that fees may be refunded if the hockey season is cancelled. We are committed to working with our membership to ensure a smooth return to hockey and we are prepared to take the necessary steps to ensure fair treatment if the season is disrupted in any way.
We are also introducing changes to our hockey program given the presence of COVID‐19 and the opportunity to work more closely with other associations in the KC family, including KC West and KC Southwest. As a pilot project for the upcoming season we will be blending teams in an effort to build more competitive and closely matched teams.
The board will be assessing this cooperative approach throughout the season to measure its success and will be surveying parents to get their feedback as well. Again, our intention is to build upon our successes as an association. More details of this pilot project will be made available shortly as we finalize the details.
As far as COVID‐19 measures, Edmonton arenas are scheduled to begin opening July 2. The city and province have issued guidelines on returning to sporting activities which will be posted shortly on our web site. We hope that with these measures in place we can proceed with the 2020/2021 season.
I would like to conclude by saying I’m personally very proud of the Knights organization, our parents, players and volunteers who come together each year to bring an enriching experience to our players.
John Putters, President