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Moving the game forward
Higher accountability, goals the new norm for Hockey Nunavut

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hockey Nunavut will have a renewed focus on the business side of the game to go along with a new man at the top, said past president Darrin Nicol of Rankin Inlet this past week.

NNSL photo/graphic

Hockey Nunavut past president Darrin Nichol, right, talks with Janis Devereaux of Skills Nunavut during the Kivalliq Trade Show in Rankin Inlet this past month. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Mike Courtney of Iqaluit was elected as Hockey Nunavut's new president during its annual general meeting on Oct. 3.

The term is for a two-year period.

Nichol, who was president for four years, said the zone will continue its focus on the further development of its coaches, officials and female games going forward.

He said Hockey Nunavut also committed to having a team at the 2019 Canada Winter Games two years ago.

"I retain the title as past president as long as Mike (Courtney) remains president, so I'll stick around and work on special projects and support Mike in his new position," said Nichol.

"Hockey is a business, and Hockey Nunavut is a large organization with significant accountabilities to the territorial government now, and up through the Hockey

North Branch to Hockey Canada. We have to continue evolving and developing our corporate model within the zone and branch, if we're going to be successful in providing the necessary reports and results our partners require."

Nichol said he's pleased with the progress made during his time as president.

He said there's always things you'd like to have seen move forward more expeditiously but generally, his tenure was a time of change at Hockey Nunavut, in terms of the additional responsibilities afforded it.

"I'm happy with the developments we made with the branch, in terms of the functionality there. I'm happy with the number of registrations, our ability to better frame-up our whole registrar process and our travel-permitting process. I've been impressed the past few years with the parity between many of the Baffin and Kivalliq communities, large or small.

"It's quite amazing how even a lot of these teams are at different age groups, which was shown this past season, especially."

Nichol said he's been quite pleased with how popular the junior program has become, and he sees no reason why that won't continue going forward, especially given Team Nunavut's success in Prince Edward Island this past season.

He said cost is always a barrier and you have limited resources in the North with which to move things forward.

"I see an awful lot of super hockey players here at all age groups, and I see a whole bunch of players, boys and girls, out there having a great time. We're trying to put together a framework without taking away from any other programs, to move our higher-end players forward and gear up for higher competition in 2019.

"We've become a proactive organization that works one-year ahead of the actual season we're in, and we've been doing that for the past two years."

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