FMMHA and AJHL Junior A Oil Barons Join Forces to Enhance Development of Minor Hockey Players in Wood Buffalo
A partnership has been formed between Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association’s elite program and the AJHL Fort McMurray Oil Barons that will enhance the player and coach experience through focused mentorship, emphasis on development of on-ice skills and off-ice behaviors, and promoting giveback and support to our community. The objective to build “home grown talent” has become a reality as both presidents sign a formal agreement.
“We are pleased to be able to give back to our community and support the development of the young players in our region. We look forward to building a strong relationship with a common goal of having local athletes reach their full potential for the future.” says David Fitzgerald, President of the Junior A Club.
Conversations started several months ago with outgoing FMMHA VP Elite Jody Seymour who served the last 4 years building up the elite program with the FMMHA Executive. Ian Kenny, has now stepped into this role and will be tasked with pushing through the vision stated, “I am excited for this partnership with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Fort McMurray Minor Hockey. Our young Minor Hockey players will be fortunate to have the Oil Barons players mentoring them to be respectful, positive, and hard working members in our community for years to come”
Both organizations see the value of partnering to achieve common goals such as enhancing the reputation and brand of the Oil Barons Logo, setting up Centerfire Place as a high performance center that can benefit both organizations and the community. The partnership will create more opportunities for local players to develop as athletes and community leaders who possess valuable life skills that will set them up for successful careers.
Junior A Club Head Coach Gord Thibodeau stated “We are excited to share in this partnership with Fort McMurray Minor Hockey. We look forward to helping mentor and develop local athletes in our community”
Thibodeau has offered an open-door policy to all elite coaches, will be assisting technical advisors with the elite program development plan and will be giving Junior A players the opportunity to mentor the elite players. In return, FMMHA will continue to support the Junior A organization with volunteers, fundraising initiatives and community events.
“Last year it was announced that Bouchier and Fort McMurray Minor Hockey’s elite hockey stream – the Jr. Oil Barons – have come to a monumental agreement that will support the program for a guaranteed 3 years in development, travel. The support from Bouchier group and now this partnership with the Oil Barons sets the minor hockey elite stream up for success. I believe this will be a model that many communities in the province will look to as we set the bar for Minor Hockey and Jr A Hockey Club development” says Steve Schreyer President FMMHA.