SPMHA U11 Competitive Stream Looks Ahead with the Introduction of the Junior Kings Program

For the 2021-22 season, SPMHA will be introducing the Junior Kings U11 Competitive Stream Program, building upon the competitive stream option that was originally introduced for 2020-21 but derailed due to covid.

Recognizing the increasing number of external development options and leagues, the intent of the program is to offer an all-in-one development program for the Tier 1 and Tier 2 U11 teams as a preferred option within Sherwood Park.

WHY IS A COMPETITIVE STREAM NEEDED?

The current structure of minor hockey includes an intro to hockey model (U7 & U9), then recreational, community and competitive stream options extending through U21. The competitive stream model historically begins at U13.

In recent years, external “profit-based” programs have identified that a competitive stream option was desired but missing at the U11 age category. These programs have proliferated over the last few years, and SPMHA, along with neighboring associations, has seen an increasing number of players leave the Association to participate in these options.

When players leave our association, it is more than just athletes that we lose; it is also coaches, volunteers & sponsors. This puts a burden on the rest of the association, and affects the experience of those that remain.

SPMHA believes that offering a competitive stream program for U11 athletes can be done with significantly reduced cost and travel compared to the “for-profit” operators, and benefits all members of our hockey program, by keeping more athletes, coaches and volunteers in the community.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

SPKAC Apprenticeship – Active working relationship with SPKAC Coaches, Players & Technical Directors

Player Development – An increased amount of ice featuring integrated & coordinated training sessions with qualified skill providers.

Goaltender Development – Dedicated goalie coaches with enhanced training, certifications, education and resources provided, including a minimum of 20 group training sessions with Kurtis Mucha.

Coach Development – Additional certification opportunities and seasonal planning support.

Community Presence – increased focus on character building and community leadership featuring team-led volunteer activities that allow players to give back while representing and supporting their community.

For more information on the SPMHA U11 Junior Kings Competitive Stream Program, view our one-sheet or program outline.