Cost of maintaining ice prompts early end to hockey season in Indus, Alta.
The Indus Minor Hockey Association (IMHA) already announced the cancellation of the remainder of the current hockey season, citing the cost of keeping ice in the Bill Herron Arena. Monday is the deadline Hockey Alberta has set to determine whether the 2021 season is sustainable. (Image:Facebook/IMHA)
CALGARY -- A community east of Calgary will be without hockey for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season, even if the province lifts the current COVID-19-related restrictions.
In a letter to its members sent Friday, the Indus Minor Hockey Association board announced the cancellation of the remainder of the current hockey season "due to the financial obligations that would be required to keep the ice in at the Indus Arena."
"We realize that this decision is upsetting and not what anyone wanted," said Kelly Watkiss, IMHA president, in the letter. "We do feel we made the best decision for our members."
In an email to CTV News, Watkiss says the issue will affect 170 players on 13 teams in the league. She says all play has been suspended since Nov. 12, 2020.
"The government has not been good to minor sports. We followed all guidelines and for Indus, we had zero cases. Our kids are the ones suffering and our parents are very upset. We are a hockey town. We live it and breathe it," she said.
"All our kids want to do in the winter is play hockey and get on the ice. It is unfair that the government is punishing our kids by taking away the one thing they absolutely love."
Watkiss says details regarding credits and refunds will be shared in the weeks to come.
The IMHA has not disclosed the cost of keeping the ice in place at the Bill Herron Arena in the Indus Recreation Centre
Team sports are currently prohibited in Alberta as part of the province's public health measures designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The mandatory restriction went into effect for the entire province on Dec. 13, 2020 following an original restriction put in place on Nov. 13, 2020 that prohibited team sports in Alberta's largest urban centres and the areas surrounding the cities.
According to the IMHA website, there are 13 teams in the association ranging from U7 to U18.
The hamlet of Indus is situated approximately 10 kilometres east of Calgary, just north of Highway 22X.