The Western Prairie Jr. Klippers are getting ready for their first season in the new U22 Provincial Female Junior Hockey League this fall.
Mike Cullen with the Western Prairie Jr. Klippers, talked about how the process for getting a team in the West Central region began.
“How the process began is that Nicki Robinson and I came across Hockey Saskatchewan putting out a request for applications for a new U22 Girls League. So, we took the initiative, went to the board, and the board agreed for us to submit an application to bring Junior Girls hockey to Kindersley.”
The prior success of the U13 AA Western Prairie Thunder and the U15 Thunder as well, made the decision an easy one, due to the promising future.
“Based on the hype for female hockey, which is through the roof right now. West Central has been dominate in female hockey in every division, that I think it is a great add on to what we’ve already done in West Central Saskatchewan,” Cullen added.
Getting the league up and going for the 2023-24 season has been a very busy process as well according to Cullen.
“It’s a learning curve, and we’re doing our very best. There are six teams now in the league, who are all approved. We’ve had a couple of league meetings, we’re basically creating the league from scratch, so there’s six votes, six teams. We’re all working together to make sure that we put a competitive good hockey program on the ice. Everybody’s got one goal, that’s to be successful, to make sure we get girls to continue hockey from after U18, and hopefully give them some options in the gap between minor hockey and university or college hockey.”
The team will also be a pay to play one, something the whole league will follow.
“Everybody’s doing the same in the league. It’s structured as a pay to play,” Cullen said.
As for the scheduling for the league, it’s going to follow pretty much the same formula as female hockey in University and College.
“It’s going to be a weekend home and a weekend away a month. Practices on weekends, if we can work it out with players and coaches to organize that. Then we’re also running the schedule similar to the university schedule. We will be wrapped up at the beginning of December, start out for the Christmas break and then make sure we’re wrapped up before the final exams at the universities or colleges.”
Cullen then went into depth about the recruitment process.
“We’re doing a lot of social media; we got our Facebook and Instagram pages up and we have a form on there. If any girl is interested at all, please fill out the form, send us your info. We’ll e-mail them detailed packages, what we’re looking to do and how we’re looking to do it and if we get enough excitement, enough people interested in a sit-down meeting, we’d like to present jerseys and do that as well in person.”
If you are interested in trying out for the team, head to the link below.