A local hockey dad is hoping the town will move forward quickly with a new female locker room at the Drumheller Memorial Arena.
Tyler Gross has watched his son progress through Minor Hockey and now his daughter has begun playing. Since then he has been lobbying.
“I have asked the town a number of times, since basically, my daughter started hockey, so about four or five years,” said Gross. “I watch my daughter and my friends’ daughter dressing in the lobby and I think for the town the size of Drumheller I find it unacceptable.”
The Drumheller Memorial Arena currently has two public dressing rooms as well as the Dragons facility. Right now female players on a hockey team either dress in the lobby, or in the girl’s washroom which is separated by the length of the arena.
“In Drumheller with an arena where the females have to dress, you have to walk through the crowd and the lobby,” he said.
He says the separation makes it difficult to feel part of the team, missing out on coaching and pep talk while they traverse the arena.
“My daughter is just starting to realize she wants to be part of a team and she loves the sport, but she misses out on the camaraderie, or meeting with the coaches,” said Gross.
Drumheller CAO Darryl Drohomerski tells the Mail, the town is committed to adding another change room space to the facility, and it has been high on the radar for a few years. They had plans to get to the project last year, but COVID hit, and it was set back.
“We are looking to have an architect and designer come in to evaluate a design and place to put it,” he said. “Unless you want to take space away from the other locker areas, you have to create a new space. We want to do an analysis about where we should actually put it, that meets all the building and safety codes for these types of facilities.”
Gross said making kids feel comfortable playing sports attracts and retains them to continue on, and build numbers.
“Teams are growing and we are seeing females more and more… and the only way to get people into sport is to get them comfortable, and if they are not comfortable to start they are not going to stay in it.”