Generally, accepted wisdom states that there are four seasons in a year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. However, that total can be greatly increased depending on how broadly one defines ‘season’. There is also construction season, pothole season, fishing season, blackfly season, and, particularly in Canada, hockey season. For most of the younger teams in the country this last season kicks in shortly after school resumes in September.
The Streetsville Arena has had a central role in the community since it was built in 1961 and has provided thousands upon thousands of children and adults alike the opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends, and get some needed exercise. The Streetsville Hockey League (SHL) traces its roots to 1946 and continues to provide well-run, competitive, and supportive programmes for children as is evidenced by the look of excitement on the kids’ faces as they lace up the skates and try on their new jerseys with friends old and new.
The start of the 2018-19 Streetsville Hockey League season at the Vic Johnston Community Centre was marked by greater festivities and excitement than usual with the introduction of a redesigned Derby logo, a substantial donation from the Kalapaca family, and visiting personages involved in the programme both currently and in years past. Part of the intention with the rebranding is to unify the look across the league so that the kids participating, regardless of age group, would all feel a sense of pride and belonging. While the logo is featured on all of the jerseys, the individual teams are assigned different colours: Royal, Powder, Black, Gold, Green, and Grey.
Programs Manager, John Culleton, explained that there are 32 teams in the league and 460 kids ranging in age from five to fourteen participating. Registration fees are from $390 to $699 depending on the level of team. The teams have set schedules so that the one practice and one game they have per week occur at the same time throughout the season and all at the Streetsville Arena. This simplifies planning for family activities, reduces travel requirements, and helps this activity fit into the crowded calendars that so many youngsters seem to have.
For those new to hockey or skating, the Learn to Skate and Stick & Puck series of sessions exist to help instruct kids from four to eleven years old in the fundamentals of the sport and costs $180.
Another option is the Canadian Tire First Shift programme aimed at boys and girls from six to ten years old who, for one reason or another, have not previously been registered in organised hockey and who are residents of Mississauga. Included with the bargain registration fee of $199 is a head-to-toe set of new Bauer hockey equipment and six sessions of learn to skate and introduction to hockey fundamentals.
Additional highlights over the course of the season include Breakfast with Santa, a Christmas Tournament, and the Day of Champs in March.
For more information, visit the website at www.streetsvillehockey.com or swing by the arena a catch a highly entertaining game in person.