New staff at Greater Vernon Minor Hockey wasted little time in getting to work.
The association announced earlier this year that Kevin Bathurst has been named executive director of hockey operations, who will lead the organization from the front.
Reporting to Bathurst will be Dwight Lee, the new manager of player development and registration.
“Both bring solid hockey and management to the association,” said president Gord Sitter in a social media post. “Further, the hiring of these two employees into restructured roles signals a positive change in management culture and strategic decision at GVMHA.”
The two new staff will drive the improvement of operational efficiencies of day to day operations, said Sitter, with an eye on freeing up more time to focus on actual hockey development.
“In the end, that is what our members want most,” said Sitter. “This next phase of work sets up GVMHA to become much stronger and more responsive than ever to the evolving hockey landscape.”
Speaking of evolving, that’s one of the first things Bathurst and Lee completed. A year-long process initiated by the minor hockey board to re-brand its logo and colours at the recreation level.
In is a new, sleek V- look under the colours of black, gold, white and red.
“When we took over, the board was in the final processes of approving the logo,” said Bathurst, originally from Ottawa who brings a wealth of coaching and development experiences to the position. He is a former assistant coach in the Alberta Junior A Hockey League, and coach in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League with Edge School in Calgary, and the former Program Of Excellence in Lake Country, now called RINK.
The association’s rep teams will have the same names and colours as before.
Lee is a former Junior A and American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Div. 1 player at Minot State in North Dakota who has spent the last couple of seasons in Vernon coaching the Thompson Okanagan Lakers Female AAA U18 squad. Girl’s hockey is a big focus for him and the organization.
“We’re trying to create female programming at every age group,” said Lee, adding Greater Vernon Minor Hockey will host Esso Fun Days for six weeks from Sept. 11 to Oct. 16. It’s a free program aimed at getting girls to try hockey.
Equipment and helmets can be provided for those interested, but players must have their own skates.
Greater Vernon Minor Hockey has wrapped up its long-running Summer Hockey School for 2022 and will now focus on conditioning camps the last week of August. These lead to evaluations for rep teams.
Minor hockey says they have about 500 kids registered for 2022-23, and there’s room for more in all divisions. A registration link can be found at vernonminorhockey.com/content/registration.
Applications are still being accepted for coaching spots in the recreation (house) divisions. Check out the website for details under Coach’s Corner tab.