SEPTEMBER 7, 2017
On Friday, the NAIT OOKS women's hockey team kicked off World Girls Hockey Weekend, with the Edmonton Girls Hockey (EGHA) Peewee teams. This event was the start of a new partnership between the Ooks and EGHA. The Ooks will be providing mentorship to all the EGHA Peewee players this season, taking them under their wing and naming them, the Mini-Ooks. Within this partnership, the Ooks will provide on-ice support for each team at two practices, hosted at NAIT throughout the season. Additionally, Coach Martin will be providing mentorship to these dedicated, volunteer coaches. This partnership idea was crafted and lead by EGHA president, Bryan Toles. The Ook Hockey Program would like to thank Bryan for his dedication to the EGHA organization, and the sport of female hockey. Beyond the player and coach support, the Ooks look forward to hosting the Mini-Ooks at their home games this season.
"We are proud to support World Girls Hockey Weekend and EGHA," said Coach Martin, the Ooks current head coach. "This is what a partnership should be; it makes sense and benefits everyone involved."
Tonight, each of the EGHA peewee teams had the chance to meet their mentor Ooks. The Ooks hosted team building sessions on campus, while the coaching staffs got together with Coach Martin. "It was a really awesome night; we had over 100 female players together in one place, plus the coaches. It was fun to see the Ooks in a mentorship role, some surprised us the way they opened up to the young players," commented Coach Martin. This is the first year of the partnership, and at this time, it would be safe to say both sides are excited and looking ahead to its growth.
Also this weekend the Ooks will host another first: a midget elite specialty teams clinic. The Ooks Hockey Program will be bringing in six Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) teams to NAIT on Monday. The clinic includes on-ice, team building, classroom chalk talk, a session on post-secondary hockey in AB, and a specialty teams scrimmage. "These are potential #FutureOoks, and we want to give them some extra tools through this unique development opportunity, "said Martin.
Being a part of the Ooks Hockey Program is more than school and hockey, it is a life experience; "a unique and unforgettable life experience." As the program strives for BEST (better every single time), it looks for ways to do this on the ice in games and practice, off the ice in training and the classroom, but also in the community.
Coach Martin also noted that the team is excited to announce their first 2018/19 commitment soon.