2019 AGM Message from the President

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When I was elected last September, I took the reins of a strong, established organization. Jennifer Smith, who preceded me as president, continued as a guiding hand in the Association, and the board, many of whom have supported TLGHA for years, provided experience and continuity. We have continued by building on this base, further strengthening our financial position, and advancing our reputation for strong leadership and best-in-class governance.

Volunteers remain central to our success. I believe we have the best volunteer base, which makes it possible to put over 1,700 girls and women on the ice on any given week during the season. Our volunteers can not only be found at the rink but also behind the scenes, including your board members, who are all volunteers. The board is elected by you to ensure the success on and off the ice, and ultimately to do what is best for our players.

One of my first actions as president was holding a strategy session last fall. Our mission of empowering girls and women by building self-confidence and leadership skills through sport was affirmed, as were TLGHA’s values and purpose. We also set our priorities for the season. I am proud to say most were accomplished. These include:

  • Rolling out half-ice programming in the Novice age group and preparing for its expansion to rep hockey in 2019/2020
  • Working with the other user groups at Leaside Arena to develop a model for equitable ice allocation at our home rink
  • Implementation of TLGHA sports leadership program to encourage girls to become officials
  • Rolling out process and education on Rowan’s Law for concussion awareness.

The Wildcat family had other notable events in the past season that we are very proud of. Our original teams, the 1974/75 Lancerettes and Blazerettes, were inducted into the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame last fall. In May, Emily Seal was awarded the 2019 Ian Shaw Memorial Scholarship in recognition of her many years as an official and as a part of Wildcat hockey.

On the ice, the Wildcats won 20 medals at our 40th annual March Break Madness Tournament, which also saw a record turn out of 177 teams and an all-time high financial contribution to the Association. TLGHA also sent a record 18 teams to the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association Provincial Championships in April, 50% more than any other association in the province. Last, the Wildcats were well represented at the USports Canadian Women’s University hockey championship, where we had 12 alumnae including four lace up for the champions University of Guelph Gryphons. Congratulations to all these girls and women!

2019/2020 is filled with more possibilities than ever. We continue our investments in hockey programming with more ice time and development sessions. TLGHA is also committed to being a safe place to play and are finalizing policies to ensure everyone can experience the same great experience that all our players enjoy. We also continue to encourage leadership opportunities for our players, including unique ways to volunteer and give back to our community.

I occasionally joke that with all the work we put in with Hockey Canada, the OWHA, and the City, that being on the board has little to do with what happens on the ice. While there is some truth to that, the fact is that our volunteers, parents and sponsors are the people that actually make what happens on the ice possible.

Only by working together can we all make Wildcat hockey a success.

Mark Schrutt
President, TLGHA