May 29, 2020

Let’s Play is Wellington Hockey’s focus for our youth space around the 2020 season. How we go about our daily lives has changed, from keeping physical distancing when out and about or making sure you are contact tracing and knowing where you have been and when! So many of us have probably never put so much soap or hand sanitizer on our hands before! Will this become more normal moving forward? How has the last couple of months impacted our behaviors into the future?

When we consider sport, the overwhelming response from our community survey was just how much everyone missed not being able to play hockey! There were many different motivators from missing the social connection with teammates or friends, the physical activity that comes with playing, competing against others or just playing the game you enjoy, it was a clear and resounding message from our community – WE WANT TO PLAY!

Let’s Play was born out of two different thought processes. Firstly, from a WHA perspective we considered, what is our motivator to get all that needs to be done for community done, in the shortest possible timeline? Simply, we love seeing our turfs alive with activity – so Let’s Play! Secondly, the season is not going to be a normal season for a number of reasons. We knew our community desperately wanted to get back playing and there were going to have to be some considerations or decisions made that were not part of past seasons to allow this to happen. Rather than having our community focus or spend time considering the detail, let’s focus instead on what everyone wants – so Let’s Play!

Let’s Play is targeted to all levels of our community. Whether it is us here at WHA, if you’re a coach or umpire, if you’re a parent or player, the Let’s Play message is for all of us. Another important group is our community leaders or volunteers who make hockey happen in their community. The hours of work that goes into making a season come to life for so many people are massive. Over the past month WHA has been working closely with all these amazing people, assisting where we can and providing support. Helping remove barriers where we can to get people back playing. This incredibly valuable group of people have already embraced the messaging of Let’s Play and have done an incredible job getting us to the position we are in, ready to start the season. Now it’s up to all of us to carry that forward.

As we look to the start of the hockey season, let’s all reflect on the past and be thankful for the future. We are ready to start a new season and get back onto a turf near you soon. Things will be different, and this won’t be a normal season, but what is ‘normal’ now? If you are ready to come on this exciting journey into a new normal with us, simply – Let’s Play!