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OSMHG seeks volunteers for potential return to ice later this month

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The Owen Sound Minor Hockey Group is seeking volunteer help as it tries to salvage what’s rest of its season.

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After what was called an “extensive” meeting of the league executive Tuesday, the OSMHG said in a post on its website they’re “cautiously optimistic” the province will allow for the league to resume play in some form later this month.

The Grey-Bruce region, and most of the province, is expected to transition back to the province’s colour-coded reopening framework Feb. 16. Health officials expect Grey-Bruce will return to the framework either in the green or yellow zone, the two least restrictive zones, although a final decision won’t be made until right before the announcement.

“We believe strongly in the mental and physical benefits that hockey provides to our young players and are committed to trying to get players of all ages and abilities back on the ice as soon as it’s safe to do so,” said a statement by the OSMGH.

The league is working with the City of Owen Sound to assess programming options, and in preparation for a return to the ice, is seeking volunteer help.

Every team must have a coach, trainer and COVID-19 management person to handle public health policies, monitoring, check-in screening, reporting, track protocols and ensure arena rules are being followed.

“Without committed volunteers outside of the executive and coaching staff it will not be possible to safely run another series of ice times,” the league’s statement said.

If an age-group can’t secure three volunteers (coach, trainer, COVID manager) per-team, the hockey session won’t be offered.

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The OSMHG is hoping to secure enough ice time to host eight sessions throughout a six-to-eight week timeframe for the age groups that have enough volunteers.

The league is asking prospective volunteers to email communications@owensoundminorhockey.com with their name, volunteer position sought, phone or email, child’s name, division and tier, and the team their child played on during the last on-ice session.

Some local minor hockey groups have been forced to call it a season early for several reasons, including the scarcity of available ice.

Several municipalities have decided to remove the ice from their arenas.

The South Bruce Blades, West Grey Minor Hockey Warriors, Walkerton Capitals, and Georgian Shores Lightning have all announced the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

The Township of Chatsworth Rebels teams are hoping to skate in Markdale.

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