I am writing this to inform you that Dawson Creek Minor Hockey are very disappointed in the City of Dawson Creek after having been informed that the Kin Arena will not be opened this year.
We have been told it was taken out of the budget.
As parents, local taxpayers’, and members of this community we feel that it sends a message that the major youth winter sports and quality of life in Dawson Creek are not a priority to the City.
With the COVID—19 restrictions placed on the Associations and athletes by the Province of B.C., we believe that the Kin arena is even more essential this year than in years past.
As Provincial restrictions have been put in place to limit gatherings in buildings, this has also limited the number of participants that we can get on the ice.
Normally DCMHA would have up to 60 players on the ice at any one time, especially in the younger divisions. Most divisions in Minor Hockey typically have more than one team who practice together however due to COVlD—19 restrictions we have had to divide Divisions into smaller groups/teams.
Because of this our ice requirements have increased and with the present ice schedule we have had an approximate 40% decrease in the amount of ice we rent from the City of Dawson Creek. The other youth ice user groups have also seen a huge drop in ice availability.
We feel there will be a lot of children that will not get to participate in these sports, and people who have withdrawn because the value of what they are receiving has decreased. It is extremely difficult to run a nonprofit Sporting Organization while offering people less than in years’ past for the same amount of money. DCMHA is paying the same hourly rate to the City of Dawson Creek and our ice requirements are greater, however our cost of registrations has remained the same.
DCMHA cannot raise registration fees while people are suffering from employment losses and cutbacks in pay. The direct impact to DCMHA may have long lasting implications as we know that once players leave a sport it is difficult to get them back. Since the schedule has come out to our registrants DCMHA has had several players withdraw from the 2020-2021 season due to lack of value for registrations fees paid. This impact is directly due to not being able to offer the same amount of ice time to our registrants.
If a person goes down to the rinks in the wintertime in Dawson Creek, it is very obvious they provide an extremely valuable recreation service to the children of Dawson Creek. Both arenas’ are packed from 3pm—10pm during the week and all day on the weekends. There is always something going on down at the rinks in the winter. In the Northern BC especially, it is important for children to be given the chance to play indoor sports as much as possible as we all know it can be much too cold to do anything in the outdoors.
Playing sports is very important for both their physical and mental well being. It is already a known fact that children are not getting enough physical activity, which they greatly need for their health and to help prevent long term health problems such as obesity and diabetes along with numerous other health issues.
We are appealing to the Dawson Creek City Council to open Kin Arena to allow the youth groups to offer the ice that is required for the children of Dawson Creek.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
President - Dawson Creek Minor Hockey Association