Laying a Foundation for Intro to Hockey

| March 23, 2016

Learning to skate can be difficult.  Learning to skate with hockey skates while wearing bulky gear, holding a stick and looking through a cage can seem impossible to a four to six year old.  Having a coach to be there to encourage a child to keep trying and to never give up helps these kids build confidence ability and skill.

Chris Bignell along with Rick Rector, Jace Moon, Brady Palmer, Tyler Scobey and Daniel Lussier were set with the task of molding and shaping these young kids into hockey players.

Getting them skating and enjoying the sport is what we aim to accomplish and when ever possible always trying to sneak in any small amounts of hockey knowledge as we can. – Coach Bignell.


The entire Initiation Bulldog team, ranging in ages from 4 to 6 years old with coaches Rick Rector and Chris Bignell.

There were 23 initiation kids registered this year.  Twelve 6 year old’s and eleven 4/5 year old’s registered with Intro to Hockey.

I thought this year’s Initiation season went very well. We had lots of returning players as well as a bunch of new faces just joining hockey. We were fortunate to have great companies such as ProFoxx and BMS Limited to help pay for extra ice times so that we could break the players up into two separate teams.

This allowed the coaches to give each player more individual attention to help them better their hockey skills. Both teams did very well and at that age especially for the 4 and 5 year old’s our goal is to make it as fun as possible. – Coach Bignell.

The Initiation Program’s ice time was kindly sponsored by ProFoxx Energy Services (Daryl Cuthill) for their half hour practice time on Monday’s from September to December of 2015, as well as the one hour practice on Monday’s from January to March of 2016.

BMS Limited (Curtis and Michelle Boden) kindly sponsored the one hour practices on Friday’s from January to March of 2016.


Curtis Boden presents Amber Carmichael from the Fox Creek Minor Hockey Association with a cheque to support the Initiation Program.


Coach – April Hecht, ProFoxx Energy Services CEO – Daryl Cuthill, Initiation Coach – Jace Moon, BMS Limited – Curtis Boden

Starting the season off with many young skaters provides excitement and anticipation, but also challenges the coaches to spread their helping advice and correction amongst many youngsters.  Seeing a need, April Hecht offered her help to the Initiation Program.

As a parent, I know how hard it is to coach your own kid because they don’t know how to separate parent from coach.  So I wanted to be a neutral coach, said Coach Hecht.

Hecht is a mother of two young hockey players who used to play for the Bulldogs and now live in Edson.

“Watching these kids improve so quickly and see the smiles on their faces is rewarding,” said Coach Hecht, “or having a parent tell me that their child said, ‘Coach April said if I do this…..I’m going to do that!!”

Coach Bignell has been very grateful for the help from Coach Hecht.

“April has helped out through out the year. She started the year off when we needed the extra hands badly as there was a lot of players that could not even stand with skates on. Once these players improved and could start skating on their own she was no longer needed as much. It was her help that I believe gets these players from not even being able to stand, to skating in such a short time frame.

She has helped me start each of the past few seasons of coaching Initiation. She really seems to enjoy helping the players learn how to skate and I appreciate all of her help getting the team started. She also comes with very short notice throughout the year to help coach if we are short coaches,” said Coach Bignell.


Initiation Player, Wyatt Moon, presenting Coach April Hecht with a Thank You bouquet of flowers.

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Coach Bignell expressed his thanks to all the help he received this year, “The coaches and managers were amazing to work with and made things that much easier. It always seems that you require so much help from the parents on the ice as players can’t even stand at the beginning of the year and after 2 weeks less help is required.

Now these players have improved so well that I have ran practices by myself. I would like to thank everyone that helped out in anyway with this year’s season but most importantly to the players.”


Photos by Melissa Scobey

“They are all unique and different in their own little ways from each other. It’s their attitudes and hard work that really make coaching so enjoyable. Thank you players, lots of great memories and smiles you brought to this coach,” Coach Bignell.

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Category: Hockey, Sports

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  1. Jim Hailes says:

    Thanks to Chris and all of the coaches. It is great to see them give back to the sport that they grew up with and they love. Someone volunteered to guide them and now they have the next generation well in hand. You are what makes minor sports work.
    Enjoy the offseason.
    Jim Hailes

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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