Calgary minor hockey parents concerned about possible boundary changes

Some parents and coaches in Calgary's minor hockey community want the whistle blown on a possible changing of area boundaries.

They say it will not only make for more travel headaches but also split up teams who have been playing together for years.

"They've grown up playing with their friends and really grown up having great coaches and being in a very competitive community, and it's certainly a community we feel pretty attached to," said Chris Brett, president of the Glenlake Minor Hockey Club, which has 68 teams at various age levels.

"From our perspective, depending on which way things go with the boundary review, there's potentially hundreds of families that are affected," Brett said. 

Hockey Calgary oversees more than 20 associations with more than 14,000 players.

Terri Trembath/CBC

The boundary review was announced in December by Hockey Calgary, which marks the second one in the last four years.

"It was without collaboration or discussion among the associations and frankly, we're still not sure exactly what problem they're trying to solve," Brett said.

"Since then we've been asking a lot of questions and working with other hockey associations to try and understand and do what's best for the players."

Rob Fairhead says, a possible change in community boundaries will mean his two sons — who have played for the Glenlake Hockey Club for seven years — would have to change teams.

Terri Trembath/CBC

"I coach one team and just keep up and be a parent on the other, so probably four to five days a week we're running around the town for sure," he said.

"We're in one of the communities that may possibly get changed and get annexed. My understanding is that Hockey Calgary is going through a process but I'm not sure exactly what the process is they're going through, it doesn't seem transparent. So what I really want to know is, why is the process they're going through the best thing for my child and my family, and what is it going to mean to me. What it sounds like it's going to mean to me is a lot more driving."

Brett says they just want open dialogue as the changes are contemplated.

"We're not against change, we're against, I think, change that is born out of a process that doesn't involve the collaboration that's needed among all the hockey associations," he said.

In an email, Kevin Kobelkla, executive director of Hockey Calgary, said he can't speak to the issue until potential next steps are presented at a meeting scheduled for Monday evening.