Minnesota Hockey Journal

October 2016

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WHY THEY'RE AWESOME Hopkins Youth Hockey Association (HYHA) is a small organization surrounded by a number of large associations. The small-town feel of HYHA is one of the keys to its success. "We know, care about and develop every single player in our association," HYHA President Bill Winter said. MITE PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS HYHA has made a commitment to growing the game, starting with Mite/8U recruitment and retention. The association hosts Try Hockey For Free days and ran a Learn to Play Hockey event this past fall. First-year Mites/8U skate for free and receive equipment at no cost. HYHA has been the beneficiary of Gear Up Minnesota! equipment grants and National Hockey League Players' Association equipment grants. Beyond the first free Mite year, the families of players who need equipment or scholarships can reach out to the association for help. Winter says anyone in need of assistance will be treated sensitively and confidentially, "because our goal is to keep kids playing hockey." During the registration period, the family of every skater who does not return is contacted for their feedback about the program. From the 2014-2015 season to the 2015-2016 season, HYHA had an 8 per- cent increase in the number of Mite/8U players. An even bigger increase is expected for this 2016-17 season. "[The increase in players] is due to the fantastic coaches and volunteers we have," Winter said. "They truly care about each and every player." Hopkins HOME ICE: HOPKINS PAVILION PRESIDENT: Bill Winter 3 DISTRICT: 154 Mites/8U S T A T E H O C K E Y of STATE OF HOCKEY SPOTLIGHT YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION Royals NICKNAME: 291 2014-15 REGISTRATION NUMBERS: MINNESOTAHOCKEYJOURNAL.COM // OCTOBER.2016 26

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