Houston and Smithers Christian Hockey Leagues gather for a group photo after a scrimmage game.

Hockey League focuses on fun and helping

A less structured program, the Houston Christian Hockey League is geared towards fun, family and teaching kids to help each other out.

A less structured hockey program, the league is geared towards fun, family and teaching kids to help each other out.

That was the desire of James and Melisa Makowichuk when they started Houston Christian Hockey six years ago.

Open for all kids ages five to 14, the program runs Fridays after school and includes hockey drills, lots of scrimmage time, and a short Christian devotional.

Once in a while they hit the ice for a game against the Smithers Christian league.

James says when they first started the league, they weren’t sure if it would work to have kids from such a wide range of ages on the ice at the same time.

But he’s been amazed at how it has worked, and how, with a little encouragement, the kids help each other out.

“Everyone is on the ice at once… and the older kids encourage the little ones,” James said.

When kids get knocked over, they give each other a hand up, even with rival kids in the midst of a game against the Smithers team.

Instead of focusing on driving athletes forward in their skills, James says it’s about having fun.

For him, the focus flows out of his personal experience.

“I grew up in Houston, and I loved hockey,” he said, adding that he left home at age 15 to pursue a hockey career.

But “it wasn’t good,” he said. “I was too young to leave home.”

Hockey consumed so much of his life and he doesn’t want that for his kids, he said.

That’s partly why this program demands much less time.

Kids play Christian Hockey once a week plus a few games throughout the year and there’s no pressure for kids to make games or be at the program every week, Melisa said.

They want to give kids a chance to play hockey without families having to be overwhelmed by a huge commitment.

James agreed.

“Our program is for families who do other things as well,” he said.

The program was started by James and Melisa with help from Richard King, Andrew and Kim Lavigne and volunteer coaches Trevor Vandermooren, Devin Haftner, Mark Smaill, Ryan McEwen and Jamie-Lee McEwen.

“They’ve given a lot of time and dedication to our hockey program,” James said.

The program started up in October and will wrap up come March.

With support from the community, Christian Hockey has been able to keep costs low, which Melisa says they are very grateful for.

It gives more kids a chance to play, James said.

“There’s a lot of kids in our league who would never experience a hockey atmosphere – a hockey team, playing in games, enjoying the ice.

“Now they can.”

For the future, James hopes to get more ice time so more kids can come out and play.

He wants to share his passion and love of hockey with kids and give them a chance to enjoy the sport in a fun and friendly way.

 

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read