The amalgamation of the Beaver Valley Minor Hockey Association (BVMHA) and Rossland-Trail Minor Hockey Association (RTMHA) is swiftly moving forward as teams of the now Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association (GTMHA) take the ice for GTMHA’s inaugural season.
The new era of GTMHA had a lot on its plate to prepare for the 2012-13 season, including fusing two administrations into one executive, revamping its policy and procedural’s manual, and receiving its final approval from BC Hockey and West Kootenay minor hockey.
“It’s going extremely well, the two executives come together, it’s a great group of people working together, lots more hands to share the load and it’s going very well,” said director of amalgamation Murray McConnachie.
The amalgamation project plan was laid out in detail approximately three years ago by the Futures Committee including a new charter, timeline and procedure to smoothe the way for the new executive, led by president Mark Ballarin.
“There’s been a couple little hiccups, but it’s like getting married there’s always something you don’t expect, but nothing major that wasn’t overcome easily,” said McConnachie.
The association also had to make an initial investment into new jerseys and logos, but support from sponsors such as McDonalds has minimized expenditures.
“Every year we buy four or five sets (of jerseys) as an ongoing expense, so it’s not like we’re going out and buying everyone new jerseys. We’re doing a lot of re-cresting, and let them roll over. After four years we’ll have them all redone.”
Early numbers indicate a promising start to the season with four Bantam house teams now playing in GTMHA as opposed to one last season. The Pee Wees will once again ice a Tier 2-and-3 teams, and with enough players signed up in the younger leagues, such as junior and senior novice, the kids will remain playing close to home, as per Bylaw 60.
According to the director, the association has also addressed the sharing of arenas, scheduling games evenly between Beaver Valley Arena, Cominco Arena, and Rossland Arena.
“I know at the Bantam House we have four team so what we did was make two Trail-Rossland, and two Trail-Beaver Valley teams, and that way we can kind of keep the Beaver Valley-Trail kids going in one direction and the Rossland-Trail kids going in the other direction to minimize parent costs.”
After two failed attempts at amalgamation, BVMHA voted 87 per cent in favour of joining forces with RTMHA in May, and Rossland-Trail reaffirmed its previous vote a year earlier, with an 88 per cent “Yes” vote on June 27.