Monday Night Hockey came to be in Mactier, Ontario in the spring of 2013 as a result of several events, but there was a key one.
Our municipal government, in an attempt to cut costs, presented to the town folk that for financial reasons, they were considering
closing our arena/community centre and selling it. They cited lack of use. Although they were right about the declining usage,
we found their proposal to be seriously flawed. Needless to say, we stood up to the mayor and council, and that sale didn't happen.
We assured the township that we could get the facility active and viable.
Now we had to do something!
The high cost of minor hockey was an obvious stumbling block. We had to find a way to get more usage of the ice surface, but
the cost of doing so seemed impossible. Not just the rental fees, but the gear to outfit kids for the game is crazy too.
So the wheels started turning and we came up with a plan.
"Let's get some donations going for gear".
There had to be piles of the stuff sitting unused in garages and attics...
And there was!...lots of it!
We contacted a couple of schools and asked for the students
to go through their basements and garages and see what they could dig up.
My Goodness!...in a week we had enough gear to outfit 20 kids...and some adults too.
By the end of the month we had a mountain of it....enough for about 50 kids, all sizes.
First problem solved!
Next issue was the rental of the ice. We wanted to give the kids a full season of skating...not just a one-shot deal.
I spoke with our arena staff and presented our plan, and then to the township. All were very supportive. So much so, that
we were offered a 'deal' for rental fees if we committed to a full season. We chose Monday evenings as normally this time slot
is not used much.
A few well placed posters around town, and some postings on Facebook was enough to bring out 18 kids our first night.
By the third week we had 24 skaters and a couple goalies. Now to some, that may not sound like a lot of kids.
But keep in mind, we are a village of about 600
souls. To get a couple dozen kids out was huge! A bunch of eager girls too!
Our mandate was simple.
Free for all kids under 18.
Free gear for all who need it, theirs to keep.
Open to all kids, no one turned away, ever.
Kids safe and supervised always.
Fun must be had at all times!
What came to pass over those first few weeks was quite fantastic.
Word of mouth caused our numbers to rise, and soon we had more kids that we could safely handle. The older boys
Were terrific at looking after the younger ones, but we needed a bit more supervision. Plus we had some real beginners,
just learning to skate. They needed more attention.
Enter Scott and Jamie!
Volunteering their time, local boys Scott Baker, past OHL star, and his cohort Jamie Steele began skating every week with the gang.
This has provided so much to our programme! Not only are the kids well supervised, but Scott and Jamie brought their years
or experience to the rink. Not only are we able to provide great shinny for the kids, but the addition of our volunteers
is adding plenty of skills and mentorship to our programme.
With all this added together, we knew we had the makings of something great.
Please read the Press Section with a recent newspaper article on MNH. We're famous!