discouraging for our entire Eagles hockey community to hear last Friday that the
province moved our region to zone red and the City of Burlington restricted our
on-ice capacity to 10. It seems particularly unfair because of the overall
discipline that all of our participants and parents have demonstrated in
following our health and safety protocols. The number of cases and
transmissions within our organization have been extremely low. When I toured the rinks last week and on the
weekend I was thrilled to see how happy our players were to receive the
practice/scrimmage jerseys and play a few inter-squad games. I can’t wait for it to return.
Our hockey committee met last Friday evening and Saturday to modify our programming to accommodate these latest guidelines and our staff began on Sunday to adjust the scheduling. Initially we have the same amount of ice but with the limit of 10 the teams will be split into groups of 8 or 9 and players, therefore attending every other team practice. We have been able to secure more ice from the city and we will begin distributing it out to all the teams beginning this weekend. In addition we have increased the on ice involvement of our NLT providers. For training, on-ice groups of 8 or 9 is ideal and we will take advantage of this period of “no games “ to enhance our development. We are continually working with Oakville and Milton hockey associations to get an exception from the City of Burlington and Halton Region PHU to allow for more players on the ice.
I want to assure everyone that as soon as the guidelines allow return to inter-squad games they will be scheduled. When we can return to larger cohorts and have groupings of 3 or 4 teams at similar level playing against each other we will. We are constantly in meetings and discussions with other organizations in our health unit (Oakville, Halton, Milton) to schedule games as soon as allowed. As the year progresses and continues to evolve we are constantly in contact with all of our stakeholders, ensuring that we are best prepared for the next steps in the 20/21 season.
We are not wavering from our commitment to provide the absolute best player experience we can during this challenging season. We intend to maximize development while operating within the various restrictions as they change throughout 20/21. Some organizations have paused or suspended, others have broken the rules and played unsanctioned games in private facilities. We have no intention of doing either.
We are proceeding with confidence that 21/22 will be a normal season (or close to normal ) and our intention is to make sure that our players have improved and are ready to compete. Failure would be to find out next year that we have fallen behind.
I want to remind everyone that the Burlington Eagles is a non-profit organization operated by a volunteer President, Vice President, Treasurer, Board of Directors, 36 volunteer coaches and 36 volunteer trainers. Our mandate every year is to design elite level rep hockey programming for an 8 month period, calculate all of the costs necessary, subtract sponsorship revenue and divide those costs fairly among the players based on slight programming differences due to age group and level. The objective is zero-surplus/zero-deficit. There are no “coffers”. The registration fees that result are paid in 4 equal installments but are for an 8 month season.
When we prepared our budget for this year we took into account that there were to be no tournaments, fewer games, less requirement for referees, less need for time-keepers, a decrease in ice-cost from the city etc. We also accounted for more NLT training, higher costs for Covid -19 protocols, purchase thermometers and Roster-Logix and receive less sponsorship money.
We will continue to navigate through this challenging season, right to the end of March and hopefully into April.
At the end of the season, or sooner if we get shut down, we will do a thorough financial review. If there is any material amount of un-spent funds there will of course be an adjustment.
I want to extend my sincere appreciation to our coaches. When they applied for and were awarded teams last year they had no idea what was coming. I am totally impressed by the manner in which you all are dedicated to maximizing player development and enjoyment in the absence of the excitement of playing games. There is nothing I would rather do right now than jump in the car for a road game in Orangeville or Guelph or a home game on Saturday night at Central. I’m sure you all feel the same way. THANK YOU
The trainers are our heroes. Under the leadership of our Head Trainer, Connie Kalpakis, they have ensured compliance with all the guidelines but more importantly provided our Eagles families with the comfort that our players are safely enjoying the physical activity of something they love and something they need! THANK YOU
I am grateful for the overwhelming amount of positive feedback and encouragement that I have received from players and families. I appreciate the support, confidence and understanding that we are doing the best we can to fulfill our commitment to our players.
The Town Hall sessions that we had at the end of August were a great success, we had planned to have another round of them at the end of November but that appears unfeasible. I have enjoyed the many conversations that I have had with parents at the rinks, when we are allowed to return please introduce yourself and lets have a chat.