As we close the book on another minor hockey season, I find myself, fellow board members, and employees of MHMHA having an opportunity to both reflect on this past year, and begin to plan for the upcoming season.
First and foremost, I want to thank members of our association. I want to thank all players for your commitment to our association, your teams, and yourselves. I hope that each and everyone of you had a rewarding and fun season. To our players who will not be returning to MHMHA next season, I wish you the best on your future endeavours. Thank you to our numerous volunteers, coaches, managers, score keepers, tournament workers, board members, and everyone in between. Our success is a direct reflection of the volunteers and countless hours commited to this great game! I want to thank all parents for supporting your child, you team, and MHMHA. Finally, I want to thank our employees. There is a lot of work that goes into operating MHMHA, and your work does not go unnoticed.
I would be naive to sit here and say that we have a perfect association from a Presidents’ and boards’ perspective, and am aware of many areas of growth that can still occur. I feel that we have made some leaps forward this year at a board level. We have increased our communication and transparency, and hold each other accountable for the decisions that we make. We have identified that the mental health of our players is a great priority, and will continue to add resources in that area. We are still waiting for our revised Bylaws to be approved, and know that there are still areas for improvement and growth there too.
The hard questions though… Where did we fall short? What can we do better? How do we get better? These are always difficult questions that require input and self-reflection to answer. I know that our coach/player development model is lacking right now, and needs some considerable work and effort to be where it needs to be. This is an off-season priority. I know that our season start last year lacked organization and communication at times, and this is an area that will be improved upon greatly, and as we move into the summer months planning has already begun for next year. Our female program needs some attention and growth in both attracting and retaining players. These are a few major areas that I know we fell short, and I will strive to improve these for next year and years to come.
Finally, I want to address rumors that still appear to float around the association. These include the executive and travel hockey. Under the revised bylaws there is an executive board, which is not uncommon for board structures. No decisions pertaining to any aspect of the association were made at an executive level for this past season. All decisions have been made at a full board level. Also, I know that we have a place in our association for both city and travel hockey. I, and the board, have no plans to remove an entire City league, and or remove travel teams. I hope to make improvements for our players to ensure the most rewarding and fun seasons for all no matter of age or skill level.
In closing, I will thank you again for a great season. Our AGM will be on May 11, 2023, and I encourage you all to attend and bring forward any concerns you may have in writing prior to then. As a board, we represent the interest of our membership and each and every child who wears a MHMHA jersey! Please have a great spring and summer and I look forward to next year!
Mark Parsons – President MHMHA