In what would have been the 35th anniversary of the Tournament of Friends, Brantford Church Hockey League is putting on a season in 2020 with the safety of its players first and foremost, but also finding ways to keep it fun for the kids. And with their successful application to the Hockey Equipment Relief Program, Brantford Church Hockey League is doing their part to support youth sports in the community.
Brantford Church Hockey League (BCHL) usually holds their Tournament of Friends during one of the last weekends of November and in the past has attracted fourty-five House League Select teams from all over southern Ontario. With the COVID-19 shut downs this past spring, BCHL wasn’t able to hold their season ending championships. So when it was safe to do so and modified play could resume, BCHL found an alternative to give their kids the playoffs and championships that they deserved.
The current return to play guidelines allow for 50 players per division and BCHL is running its program with 300 kids. Each is divided into four teams. Divisions include: Little Saints, U7 to U9 (Tyke & Novice), U10 to U15 (Atom to Bantam), U16 to U 21 (Midget & Juvenile) and goalies for all divisions.
BCHL is offering a shortened two-season model with Season 1 running from September to December and Season 2 running January to March. Each season will wrap up with playoffs and championship games to keep the players safe, but to also make sure the kids are having fun, learning new skills and enjoying the game of hockey. Registration for Season 2 is currently open and has limited space due to return to play guidelines.
Exciting news from the BCHL was that they were one of the successful recipients of the Hockey Equipment Relief Program to help families financially impacted by COVID-19 get their kids back on the ice. This program, in partnership with the National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players’ Association, BAUER Hockey and Hockey Canada, provides equipment to kids whose families have been financially affected by the pandemic. BCHL received 25 sets of equipment of various sizes to help kids get back to the ice. Contact BCHL for more information on this great program.
Local organizations have had to adjust their delivery of sport seasons a great deal this year. From complete shut-down, to skills training to modified play, they have done so with determination and cooperation. Thank you BCHL for continuing to keep hockey safe and fun for your league and looking forward to celebrating the 35th annual Tournament of Friends when it is safe to do so.