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Winnipeg AA bantam coaches Tyler Feeleus, back, and Kevin Baylis, left, delivered a player-development clinic with bantam- and midget-aged players in Baker Lake earlier this month.

Developing interest
Player development and referee certification held in Baker Lake

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Baker Lake Minor Hockey Association (BLMHA) has been trying to increase the number of youths playing the game by hosting a pair of instructional activities in Baker earlier this month.

The BLMHA held a player-development clinic three weeks ago, and followed that by bringing in a Yellowknife referee to conduct an official's certification clinic this past weekend.

The Hamlet of Baker Lake provided the ice time, classroom and materials for the programs.

Jeff Seeteenak of the BLMHA said the two player-development instructors, Tyler Feeleus and Kevin Baylis, are AA coaches in Winnipeg's bantam program.

He said the whole idea of holding the clinics was to encourage more kids to give the game a try in Baker.

"We're trying to get the kids more excited about playing hockey in Baker," said Seeteenak.

"Our numbers have been going down and we're trying to do things to promote the game here again.

"We want to show everyone we're up and running with our hockey program, and trying to provide more activities and opportunities for our youth here.

"Calm Air provided the flights and Arctic Fuels provided the accommodations for the two coaches for the development clinics, so we really appreciate the support of those two companies."

Feeleus and Baylis instructed the kids in four groups: initiation and novice; atoms; girls and peewees and bantams and midgets.

Seeteenak said the player-development clinics went extremely well.

He said the two instructors conducted ice sessions from initiation- to midget-aged players and everyone seemed to have a fun time.

"The kids were very receptive to the clinics, so that was good to see.

"National Hockey Day in Canada is a little early for us, being held in January, so we also did a hockey day event for our kids here in Baker this past weekend.

"I don't think we're much different from many places right now, in that the number of kids playing hockey seems to be going down a bit.

"The development clinics began with some discussion around Christmas and grew from there, so, hopefully, we'll be able to keep providing programs and fun activities to help get our kids interested in playing hockey again."

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