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Plenty of room on the ice
Youth encouraged to join minor hockey in Fort Simpson

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, January 16, 2014

With the season firmly underway, coaches with Fort Simpson minor hockey are hoping to see more youth take an interest in the sport.

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Aaden White participates in a shooting drill during minor hockey practice in Fort Simpson on Jan. 11. Minor hockey coaches are encouraging more youth to join the sport. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

Minor hockey practices began shortly before Christmas as coaches looked to see how many youth would join. The interest has slowly been growing, said Jonathan Tsetso, who coaches the younger players.

"We'd like to see more kids come out," he said.

Tsetso regularly has seven to nine five-and six-year olds in the group he coaches. Anyone who is interested should come to the practices, but having some basic skating skills helps, he said.

Equipment is available for any youth who might not have all of the necessary pieces. The younger players practice Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. and also have a practice time on Saturdays.

Skating development along with a bit of stick handling and shooting take up most of the practice sessions.

If any parents would like to assist with the practices, their help would be welcomed, he said. Tsetso grew up playing minor hockey and this is his first year coaching. With a son now playing hockey, Tsetso said he wanted to get him interested in the sport and introduce him to

friendly competition.

Minor hockey is also a great way for youth to be active, make friends and experience new places while going to tournaments, said Jarret Hardisty.

Hardisty along with Byron Blyth, Doug Tate and Darren Hardisty coach the older players ranging in age from seven to 13. That group, which regularly has eight participants, practices Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and also on Saturdays.

The focus is on individual skills including skating with and without the puck, passing, shooting and puck handling. When the players are older the focus moves towards playing as a team, he said.

Like Tsetso, Hardisty grew up playing minor hockey. This is is his second non-consecutive year of coaching.

"Hockey is a great sport," he said.

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