Heading into their fourth season, the Ecofish Whalers women’s hockey team has a lot to be thankful for.
“We’ve got a great group of women that turn up every week to practise, despite our late ice time,” said team organizer Kelly Roloff. “We have great coaches and are fortunate to have two main sponsors, Ecofish Research Ltd. and Brian McLean.”
The Whalers feel they have come along way since the conception of the team and look forward to proving themselves at the Nanaimo tournament this weekend.
Coaching has played a huge role in transforming a rookie team into a group of women that can compete in games up and down the Island. The coaching staff, led by Jordan Butcher (head coach of the VIJHL Glacier Kings) has dedicated much of their time over the last two years and according to some of the Whalers loyal fans, “It’s starting to pay off. The ladies are making great passes and learning correct positioning.”
Butcher, along with Keanan Egeland, Cody King and Even Murray, show up at 10 at night and run a fast-paced, fun practice. “It’s not as easy as you would think running drills with 20 ladies of all different skill levels,” says team captain Tera Kasubuchi. “With four coaches, everyone gets one-on-one coaching throughout the practice.”
With generous donations from their sponsors, the Whalers are able to lace up the skates usually twice a week for one practice and a game.
Ecofish Research Ltd. (leaders in environmental assessment and monitoring) has been the main sponsor for the Whalers for two years now. Brian McLean has always been a player sponsor until this year when the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC car dealership became a full team sponsor.
“With these generous donations, the Whalers are able to keep the ice costs affordable and still compete in games and tournaments,” says Kasubuchi. The Whalers thank Canadian Western Bank, Vancouver Island Insurance Centres and Flip Flop Shops for their player sponsorship.
If you are interested in joining the team, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their blog at courtenaywhalers.wordpress.com. for more information. The Whalers practise at 10 p.m. Thursday nights at the Sports Centre.