Saskatchewan

Hockey Canada study shows enrolment stagnant in teens

A new Hockey Canada study shows teen enrolment in hockey is stagnant, a statistic that also holds true in Saskatchewan.
Despite Saskatchewan's growing population the number of teens getting involved in hockey has flatlined. The CBC's Dani Mario reports on how hockey organizations are trying to keep kids in the game. 1:52

A new Hockey Canada study shows teen enrolment in hockey is stagnant, a statistic that also holds true in Saskatchewan. 

When Kyle Borse started high school in Regina, he decided to quit hockey. 

"I just didn't really have time for it," said Borse. "The season is pretty long and I play football, so I don't really have time."

In an effort to figure out why interest in the sport across the country is down, Hockey Canada commissioned a study with hockey gear company Bauer, and found it has dropped due to four main reasons: 

  • It's too expensive 
  • It's too time consuming
  • Health and safety concerns 
  • It's not enough fun

But in Saskatchewan the statistics aren't the same across all age groups. 

Overall enrolment in minor hockey has actually gone up in the province, with about 600 more kids playing minor hockey than there were six years ago.

The problem is, the increase comes from players younger than 13 years old, who end up dropping the sport when they get into their later teen years. 

Data from the Saskatchewan Hockey Association shows there are 1,465 more kids under 13 playing hockey, while there are 857 fewer teens older than 13 playing the sport. 

The SHA says it's trying to keep teens in the game.

"The key thing for us is the numbers at the younger ages are going up, so the key is, how do you keep those kids involved," said the SHA's Kelly McClintock. 

He said it all starts with the coaches. That's why they started a mentorship program for on-ice leaders three years ago. 

"We felt, if we can make coaches better, that's the thing that we can do," he said. 

The association is hoping the new program will keep younger kids in hockey well into their teens. 

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