Pictured are the Kootenay Ice Agers this year. (Submitted file)

Pictured are the Kootenay Ice Agers this year. (Submitted file)

Women’s hockey continues to grow in Cranbrook

Several programs available for women of all ages

For The Townsman

Women’s hockey is making a comeback in Cranbrook, with the sport growing for every age each year.

Melanie McFarlane, who has long been involved with women’s hockey in the region, says that no matter age or ability, women are welcome to join the sport.

“Whether you are young or a young-timer, a skilled veteran or beginner, there’s a place for you to play,” McFarlane said in a press release.

First up, beginner hockey lessons will soon begin through the City’s recreation program.

The Learn to Play program had a great start before the pandemic, McFarlane said, and offers the opportunity for women to give hockey a try.

The sessions will teach participants how to skate, stickhandle, puckhandle and shoot in a safe environment. Sessions begin Saturday nights, starting Oct. 15 from 6:30p.m. to 7:30p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena. The program is offered through the City of Cranbrook’s recreation programming, McFarlane adds, and is open to women aged 18 and older. More information can be found in the City’s recreation and program guide, which is available online or at Western Financial Place.

Off Shoots

The Off Shoots women’s hockey program began in 2021 and is for players aged 55 and over. The one-hour ice times are Wednesdays from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Memorial Arena. The sessions include basic skills training and shinny games. For more information, please contact Diane at 250-420-1522.

KEWHL – Kootenay East Women’s Hockey League

The KEWHL women’s league is a faster-paced game and includes experienced players of all ages. The league (formerly Cranbrook Women’s Recreational Hockey League) started in 2008 and games are played on Tuesdays at Western Financial Place from 8:30-9:45 p.m. and Wednesdays at Memorial Arena from 8:45-10:00 p.m. League players also coordinate teams to travel to weekend tournaments in Kimberley, Golden, Invermere, Whitefish & more.

For more details on the KEWHL please email: cbkwomenshockey@gmail.com.

Cranbrook Shooters Hockey Club

The Cranbrook Shooters Hockey Club started over 20 years ago and has a roster of about 25 players. The club has regular ice time and have competed in tournaments in Invermere, Golden, Sparwood, Whitefish Calgary and Las Vegas.

Kootenay IceAgers

The success of the Kootenay IceAgers 55+ women’s team has captivated the local community. More women are realizing that it is never too late to learn how to play Canada’s favourite sport and have some amazing hockey experiences. The IceAgers are a mix of players who played when they were young and players who started playing in their 30s, 40s or 50s. They never dreamed they would have a chance to compete at the provincial (BC 55+ Games) and national (55+ Canada Games) levels into their late 50s and 60s. The players all agree that it’s an incredible experience. It’s funny to hear the younger (40+) players say they wish they were 55 already.

For more information on the Kootenay IceAgers please contact: Nikki at 250-520-2024 or Jean at 250-421-1004.