Message from OMHA President, News (South Muskoka Minor Hockey Association)

News Article
News Article Image
Oct 09, 2020 | Sarah Geer | 3988 views
Message from OMHA President
October 8th, 2020....

October 8, 2020

To our OMHA Hockey Family,

I would like to start by saying I hope you, your families and communities are safe as you come to grips with the new normal. We have all been faced with living our lives differently then any of us would have expected or even believed possible seven months ago. Those changes include the way we conduct our lives, work, go to school and of course, play hockey.  

As the summer progressed the OMHA Board was busy trying to decipher the constant stream of ever-changing information and trying to make sense of it to pass along to the players, parents and Minor Hockey Associations. It was certainly confusing at times and left everyone shaking their heads trying figure out exactly what was going on or expected moving forward. I want to let everyone know that the OMHA Board was diligently trying to process and provide the necessary information to our Members as it was provided to us by our governing bodies - Hockey Canada and the Ontario Hockey Federation.

The Ontario Hockey Federation produced a Return to Play framework outlining the different stages of our return to hockey operations. The minor details of the plan were in short supply but the general plan was comprehensive and provided goals to reach, as the Province of Ontario slowly opened up and got people back to work and permitted sports to start up again. It was these minor details that caused the confusion for many, including the OMHA Board. Things literally changed day to day. The OMHA has been criticized for failing to keep the information to the Minor Hockey Associations precise and complete but with the daily changes it was made impossible. The OMHA believed the most accurate information was more important than creating additional confusion by providing information that changed or was incomplete.

The OMHA’s Return to Play Policy followed that of the Ontario Hockey Federation framework. It was the position of the OMHA to move forward slowly with the safety, health and welfare of our players the major determining factor as we opened up hockey operations. The OMHA believes in Hometown Hockey and as such we know community involvement is a major part of our hockey season. It was for this reason that we also took into account the safety and wellbeing of parents, siblings, grandparents and the entire community which all play a role in OMHA hockey season.

Although everyone wants to start traditional five on five hockey, it is the OMHA’s position that we are not there yet. As COVID-19 cases rise in the more populous areas it has become more evident a return too early is not safe nor in the best interest of our communities. We will not be pausing our OMHA programming at this time but may do so if advised by the Province of Ontario, the Public Health Unit or our governing bodies advise we must do so. We willeventually get back to hockey, but patience is required.

I would like to thank our Minor Hockey Associations and OMHA Regional Directors for their hard work preparing the return to play plans. This is an exercise that no hockey administrator ever thought would be their responsibility when they joined their Associations or the OMHA Board. To the players and parents - please support your home Associations, team and on-ice officials so we can get everyone of you back on the ice and watching hockey safely.

The OMHA can assure the players and parents that we want you on the ice as soon as possible but we will not jeopardize your safety and rush a return to the game before we are certain it is safe to do so.

Please be safe, take the advice of the medical community on the steps to prevent the spread of this disease and we will all get back to the game we love sooner then later.

Bob Hill
OMHA President


Sponsors
Middaugh Masonry
Full Service Masonry in Muskoka At Middaugh Masonry our work stands the test of time. We specialize in natural stone products and custom designs tailored to meet the requirements of homeowners, designers, engineers, and contractors. Our stone and brick work will add value and appeal to any home, cottage, or business. From repairs to facades or interior to exterior, we take pride in our craft and are dedicated to your project.
Muskoka Highlands
Muskoka Highlands Golf Links maintains the true Scottish links feel on an 18-hole course that now spans more than 6,000 yards. Jim Rennie, PGA of Canada, directs our instructional programs for players of all skill levels, a driving range, large putting and chipping greens, and a new winter indoor practice facility, complete with four hitting bays and a putting green.
Norstar Exteriors
Serving Muskoka, Parry Sound and Haliburton for over 39 years! Our experience has proven that the least expensive product costs you more money, time and frustration in the long run - from new construction to complete exterior renovations, NorStar will always provide premium quality materials and excellent service at a competitive price. President and CEO Kevin Browne takes great pride having NorStar consistently leading the exterior market by successfully combining quality innovative products with experienced conscientious staff and product installation teams committed to health and safety is what will continue to make NorStar your #1 exterior decorators.
Wes Finch & Sons
Wes Finch & Sons Excavating Ltd. is a fourth generation family run operation in Bracebridge Ontario. We specialize in Muskoka's home and cottage excavation needs, including septic system design and installation. We can help you build a driveway on vacant property, or demolition of an old dwelling for new plans. Our web site is set up to illustrate our history and experiences in satisfying our customers needs.