COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today that Hockey Club Fairbanks has earned designation as a USA Hockey Model Association, becoming the first Model Association from Alaska and increasing the total number nationwide to 25.
With the designation, Hockey Club Fairbanks has committed to fully implement programming dedicated to age-appropriate, age-specific skill development in accordance with USA Hockey's American Development Model throughout the 8-and-Under, 10-and-Under and 12-and-Under age classifications.
As many of you are now aware, in light of the growing concern over the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Municipality of Anchorage, and in an effort to institute a "30-day reset", Anchorage Mayor May Ethan Berkowitz at noon today, July 31, 2020 issued Executive Order 15 (EO-15). I am attaching a copy of EO-15 for your review.
I have had occasion to discuss the impact EO-15 will have on our hockey community in general, and to the Tier II Try-out Camps scheduled for next week with: (1) Anna Culley, Chairperson of ASHA's COVID-19 Response Committee; (2) Kevin Fitzgerald, ASHA’s VP of Comp; (3) with many of the local association leaders; and (4) with Management of the Subway Ice Center. Based on E0-15, it is important that we, as a the Alaska Hockey Community, recognize our responsibility to familiarize ourselves with the local mandates in these ever changing pandemic times and to not just do our part to comply, but make those short term sacrifices necessary to balance participating in the game we all love and enjoy with the safety of others.
At this juncture, the following mandates shall be in place for participation in upcoming Try-Out Camps in the Municipality of Anchorage:
Although not mandated because of the local limitations and accessibility of procuring temperature reading devices, every association is encouraged to make every effort to secure appropriate temperature reading devices and take the temperature of each player before entering the facility each day of camp, and record same.
I can appreciate that this may impose challenges for many, especially family, friends, and most especially parents who, rightly, love to watch their player do what they love and participate in this great sport of hockey. However, in light of the circumstances we are facing, family and friends just cannot be in the rinks if we wants the camps to be conducted at this time and under the present local mandates. We all have to keep in mind, it is about the players, not us. We have all heard lately that we are in this together, and we are; and because COVID-19 is not going away on its own, we have to change our behaviors to be adaptive. I have heard it said regarding the spread into youth sports, and into hockey in particular, that it is not necessarily a question of "if", but rather "when" the virus hits youth hockey. We can be vigilant in our efforts to balance participation in on ice activities while complying to local mandates and trying to maintain a safe environment at the rinks; and by limiting the number of those allowed in the rinks, in particular by restricting those allowed in the rinks during the try-out camps to: (1) the players; (2) the coaches; and (3) the limited number of necessary association try out staff, we are all doing our part to make the sacrifices necessary that will allow our youth the continued opportunity to enjoy the on ice experience during our association try-out camps.
I respectfully ask that each of you do what you can to broadly disseminate these mandated restrictions to as many of the players and parents as possible in anticipation of next week’s try-out camps.
Yours in Hockey
Darryl Thompson, President
As Americans gradually return to more activities during the loosening of restrictions that are part of the ongoing efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Stuart discussed what is needed to make that return as safe as possible during an interview with USAHockey.com this week.
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