CSGHA keeps moving in the right direction
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Kendall Hanley took over as the director of hockey of the Colorado Select Girls Hockey Association just over a year ago, and she’s nothing but pleased with the program’s continued progression.
“Like any transition when there’s a new person in a certain role, you don’t know what to expect at first, but I’m very hands-on and I was welcomed in with open arms,” Hanley said.
“Last season was a huge success and it was exciting to see everything evolve and come together at all age levels. (Former director) Marnie (Hill) had developed and implemented off-ice leadership training (Captain’s Council) and mentorship programs (Power Play Pals) during her tenure, which we kept in place and built on.
“We also brought in new and innovative ways to train and develop our athletes.”
One new concept that became instantly popular with the Select players and families last season was the implementation of “Game Night” on Friday evenings. The program mixed girls of various age levels together on teams which then competed for “The Cup” using a 3-on-3, half-ice format.
Among other duties, Hanley will once again oversee the on- and off-ice development of the 8U, 10U and 12U age levels this coming season, while newly-appointed assistant director of hockey Karen Rickard will tackle the 14U, 16U and 19U Tier I, Tier II and recreational divisions.
“It’s my intention to continually collaborate with Kendall and the Board of Directors to establish and provide first-class training and service to each young athlete and family under our tutelage,” Rickard said.
Building on its relationships with the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) and USA Hockey are also essential, according to Rickard.
“It’s imperative we continue to work with those groups so we can continue to provide the best possible education, training and direction to young female players,” said Rickard.
As she did last season, Hanley will have the Select program focus on growing the game through various try-hockey-for-free events. The Select is set to host a three-session event in September for girls ages 4-17 and also has the annual Select Alumni Game slated for Dec. 20. Additionally, to kick off the season, the Select will host an organization-wide barbecue on Aug. 29.
“The Select has a strong sense of community, and there are many volunteers behind the scenes working hard to ensure our athletes and families have a first-class experience,” Hanley said.
On the ice, Hanley was most impressed with how the program’s 8U, 10U and 12U players progressed last season.
“The development for those girls was just insane,” said Hanley. “Whether it was watching a player execute a new skill or concept in practice for the first time or watching teams play and seeing every player contribute and compete, to have the opportunity to witness each individual athletes’ improvement was very special.”
What’s more, the Select’s 10U team won the C-470 and CAHA State Recreational Travel Tournament championships, and its 12U team won the Mountain States Girls Hockey League and CAHA State Rec Travel titles.
“Those team accomplishments only reaffirmed that we’re doing things the right way by incorporating the principles of Long-Term Athlete Development into our programming.”
And Hanley plans to continue to raise the developmental bar moving forward.
“We just have to stay focused on why we’re here, and that’s for the girls,” said Hanley. “We offer a world-class program and Karen and I, along with our Board of Directors, are committed to providing these young women the tools and skill sets they need to be successful not only on the ice, but in life.
“Regardless of a players’ level or long-term goals, we want everyone in our program to look forward to coming to the rink each day and working hard and, most importantly, have fun while they’re here.”
– Matt Mackinder