There might be more local opportunities for female hockey players to continue to the next level with the formation of an all-female minor hockey organization.
The Minor Hockey Associations of Strathmore, Chestermere, Indus and Siksika have announced the inaugural season in 2023/2024 of all-female minor hockey east of Calgary.
“The Wheatland Wranglers represents the opportunity for girls in all minor hockey age groups to play in a home association, close to home,” says Lisa Hempel-Wurz, director of the Wheatland Wranglers Hockey Association. “Previously, girls have travelled to Okotoks, Calgary, or Airdrie for the opportunity to play on all-female teams, or they would play on local teams alongside the boys.”
The new association is a subset of the Strathmore Minor Hockey Association (SMHA), with representation from Chestermere, Indus, and Siksika Associations integrated to the Board of Directors. The Wheatland Wranglers will offer district-amalgamated all-female teams from U9 through U18.
“The Wranglers are excited to welcome all regional females to ensure sufficient registration and appropriate skill divisions,” explains Hempel-Wurz. “The draw zone will include all female players east of Calgary, including our Strathmore, Chestermere, Indus and Siksika associations as well as players from other surrounding communities like Drumheller, Standard, Bieseker and Bassano for example.”
U7 females will have an opportunity to play as a Jr. Wrangler for a local-only female team as registration permits.
“We are currently planning to open registration on Monday, May 15 on our new website,” continues Hempel-Wurz. “There is a strong interest in all-female hockey in our communities and we hope to see strong registration numbers for our first season this fall.”
Hockey Alberta projects there currently close to 8,000 females participating in the sport and female hockey is currently one of the fastest-growing sports in the province.
There are a multitude of noted benefits for girls to play female minor hockey that the Wheatland Wranglers hope to satisfy for the upcoming season, including female peers, female-focused coaching, female leadership and developments.
For more information on the Wheatland Wranglers, please register on the website wheatlandwranglers.ca or like/follow them on social media for all the latest updates!