Jay Aikenhead

To Vancouver Minor Hockey Association’s Membership,

I’m ecstatic to accept the position as Director of Hockey for Vancouver Minor Hockey Association.  Thank you to all the board and all the members of the association to put your trust in me for this role.

Vancouver Minor Hockey Association was born from an amalgamation of hockey communities in East Vancouver. As a youth, I played at Hastings Minor Hockey and watched as we merged first
with East Vancouver (Britannia), then Grandview (Trout Lake), and finally Killarney to form VMHA.  As a young man, I coached at VMHA where it eventually became my professional goal to help young people experience sport in a positive way through hockey.

Since starting coaching more than 15 years ago, I’ve been fortunate to count some of the best hockey talents in the province as mentors.  These experiences have influenced my career in ways I didn’t expect. For example, I am now a partner in one of the most visited online hockey resources for hockey coaches, The Coaches Site. This culmination of knowledge will help me run effective VMHA hockey programs that we can all be proud of.

Going forward, some of the methods we will be implementing are not widely used in the Lower Mainland or province. We will be applying a sport science-based approach to development, and utilizing proven best practices from a variety of organizations across the world I have worked with and learned from. I appreciate members’ and athletes’ willingness to trying new things as we develop the best program possible. I believe that with these adjustments, our program will return as a perennial contender at all divisions for the AA PCAHA/BC level.

One thing is certain, I can’t do this job alone. Along with the coach committee, we have come up with a plan that is based on distributing work and knowledge, with the hockey director teaching best practices to all association stakeholders. I will work to engage the entire organization— moms, dads, brothers, sisters and alumni—to assist in moving VMHA forward (even if it’s just by reading the newsletter). I look forward to sharing any information I have with VMHA members in a clear and organized fashion to ensure the best experience for everyone.

Culture is the foundation of the program, and it’s an area that everyone can contribute to and get excited about. It’s our goal that the more than 550 players and their families that make up the as-
sociation enjoy their time at the rink. Fun is the number one priority for me as the VMHA DOH. Together, we will strive to provide a magnetic atmosphere for youth to express themselves through sport and allow them to grow as individuals. The more the players learn and enjoy themselves, the more they will come back and want to participate more. This will be encouraged constantly throughout all our programs.

I’m truly humbled to have been granted the position of Vancouver Minor Hockey Association’s Director of Hockey Operations. I look forward to fulfilling my responsibility to athletes, their families and VMHA members.

Yours truly,
Jay Douglas Aikenhead, BKin