The Stettler Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) was named Association of the Year by Hockey Alberta at an event in Edmonton, and president Jason Hegberg was on hand to accept the award.
Hegberg said that he was “ecstatic” when he found out.
“To be recognized as a leading minor hockey association in a hockey-mad province is a huge accomplishment,” Hegberg said. “Everyone involved, past and present, deserves a pat on the back. It takes a lot of commitment from a lot of people to make our program what it is.”
The award is presented to an association that has shown an outstanding contribution to its community. The association must demonstrate good organization and follow by-laws and constitutions, participate in zone and annual general meetings, offer to host provincials on a regular basis, and host, participate in, or promote mentorship and various clinics.
SMHA has won five provincial championships and multiple league and zone championships, but Hegberg says that’s not the focus of the association.
“These accomplishments are simply by-products of a program that we have focused around the importance of skill development,” he said.
“What I like the most about SMHA is that we have a great group of people who are working for the betterment of every athlete. We have a citizens-first attitude, trying our best to teach proper life skills along with the fundamentals of the game.”
Hegberg also stated the importance of everyone involved in minor hockey.
“It starts with great volunteers who put in countless hours to make sure we have a strong program that continues to grow in the right direction,” he said. “It is fostered by great coaches that are dedicated to making our players better by helping them learn the skills they need to be successful and ultimately have fun.
Finally, and most importantly, it is about the players that come to the rink excited to be there with their teammates and coaches representing the Stettler Storm.”