The Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association was named the association of the year by the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association.
The PCAHA, which oversees 42 associations in the region, presented the Ridge Meadows executive the Fred Page Trophy, which is awarded annually to the minor hockey association “judged to have made an outstanding contribution to its community by providing a sound minor hockey program.”
It is the association’s first time winning the award.
“It’s good for our association,” said president Scott Falconer. “It’s always nice to get recognized, and it’s really a testament to how much the association has grown.”
The RMMHA has grown in size – it is the third largest in the province and has about 1,200 athletes on 64 teams. Registration has increased for each of the past four years.
And it has also been on a roll as an organization, said Falconer, dating back before the term of the present executive that has been in office for two seasons.
“We continue to try to make strikes in how we conduct ourselves,” he said.
The association does drives for local food banks, and partners with the junior B Flames in a teddy bear toss for the Christmas Bureau. The association has also been involved in a local Crohn’s and colitis fundraiser.
“You spend a lot of time with the kids, and you can teach them life lessons if you handle them properly.”
Two seasons ago, the association adopted the motto Respect, Desire, Pride. Falconer said it has been embraced by the organization, and is part of changing the culture.
“Those are three words we believe in.”
The executive tries to constantly improve things, whether it is adding popular third jerseys that the kids can purchase and keep, remodeling the website, or adding a new hockey pool fundraiser.
Falconer said the present executive is a good group of people, and they work hard in their roles.
“Nobody can question the time and effort we all put into making the association better,” he said.
He said the association has embraced some of the PCAHA’s initiatives. One of those is cross-ice hockey at the novice level, to help give kids more touches of the puck. Another is the double blind draft for C level hockey, which is designed to prevent teams from being “stacked.”
If Ridge Meadows is recognized as a good minor hockey association, Falconer said everyone involved shares the recognition.
“It’s a credit to the athletes and those athletes’ families that we’ve been able to build a great organization.”