Message from Grant Gibson, Director of Initiation
Welcome to all the new and returning Initiation players and parents. Initiation hockey marks the start of our kids hockey journey and is a place to develop the love of the game. It takes the contributions of many (volunteer coaches and team officials plus pro coaches) to help our young players learn the skills, become good team mates, make life-long friends and have fun along the way.
Thanks to all of the parents who have already volunteered as coaches and assistant coaches, safety officers and team and division managers. There are other opportunities to volunteer for our various fundraising activities and our Below Atom Tournament. We will be reaching out to you during the season.
This year we are very excited to announce that Derek Popke of Vancouver Hockey School (VHS) has joined the Thunderbirds. He comes to us from Seafair Minor Hockey Association where he ran their skills program for the past 9 years. Derek also worked on-ice with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2009 to 2014 as well as numerous minor league organizations. More than 50 of Derek’s students have been selected in the NHL draft over the past 7 years. He is focused on skating technique and is a strong believer that kids learn best when they are grouped with other players of similar ability.
The hugely successful T-Birds Below Atom Tournament will be held again on the Family Day Weekend, February 15 – 18th.
A reminder concerning the BC Hockey regulations regarding ice configurations for the division. H1 and H2 will continue to use the cross-ice surface during practices and games. H3 and H4 will use of both cross-ice and half-ice dependent upon the size of the ice surface, along with controlled full-ice scrimmages for H4 beginning on February 1 of the season.
Lastly, the season will start this year with assessments and the Below Atom Jamboree will be held on September 22. I look forward to seeing you all this year at the arena.
Starting in January, the Thunderbirds will be running a six week introductory program as part of the Vancouver Canucks Learn to Play program. We are excited to add this initiative to the Thunderbirds lineup and we look forward to inviting new players who will be eligible for our Hockey 1-3 age groups next season to…Read More
Vancouver Thunderbirds Hockey is now accepting applications from coaches wishing to be part of the fun in 2018-19 season for all levels (Hockey 1 through to Midget – rep and recreational). For all of our members: Please pass along the information to anyone you know that may be interested in joining the TBirds. We welcome applications…Read More
Vancouver Hockey School’s Derek Popke has been leading a couple skills sessions for the Thunderbirds rep program this past season, and starting in September he will be taking on an official role with the T-Birds. In his Hockey Advisor role, Derek will be leading the on-ice skill development program for all Hockey 2-4 teams and…Read More