Western Valley holds vote to let Digby minor hockey leave to join Clare

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier jriley@digbycourier.ca
Published on July 25, 2014

The Digby Ravens jersey may include a small Acadian logo if Clare votes to allow the Digby Minor Hockey Associaition to merge with them.


Clare and Digby minor hockey players are one step closer to playing together.

At a meeting on Monday, July 21 the Clare Minor Hockey Association voted 82 per cent in favour of amalgamating with Digby.

Digby is not its own association but is currently a division within the Western Valley Hockey Association.

The Digby members voted in favour of leaving the WVHA at meeting in early July and now the two Digby County groups are just waiting for the WVHA to vote on letting Digby go.

Each of the five districts – Bridgetown, Middleton, Greenwood, Berwick and Digby – get five votes at the WVHA meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 6.

If that votes goes the way Digby and Clare hope, then the Digby and Clare groups will discuss modifications to the CMHA constitution such as boundaries and make up of the board.

And then, the final step in joining the two groups, the members of the CMHA will vote on the modifications to the constitution.

President of the CMHA Michel Comeau says the amalgamation will be a win-win for everyone.

“Oh there are so many wins with this,” he said. “We’ll have better numbers to make better teams, more competitive teams, we’ll have a deeper pool of volunteers, more referees. It’s very positive.”

Comeau says a bigger association will enable them to possibly suit up three strong lines for the competitive teams, allowing the better players to play to their level.

On the other hand, some players who previously made the competitive teams in Clare might have to work harder to keep their spots.

Comeau says perhaps the biggest benefit will be the opportunity to offer all-girls teams.

He said Clare had about 20 girls in their association and Digby another half-dozen but that was playing with boys.

If they offer all-girls hockey, he thinks more girls will come out and they could at least put together two teams – a mixed atom, peewee and a mixed bantam, midget.

“But the possibility is there for perhaps four teams,” he said. “That is probably the biggest plus, to really grow girls hockey tremendously.”

Digby asked for the amalgamation to save a lot of driving and gas for competitive players and their parents who have been travelling to valley rinks for practice and home games.

“Digby is geographically no where near the teams in Western Valley,” said Ettinger earlier this month. “The closest rink if they’re playing in one of the competitive leagues is Kingston and that’s 45 to 50 minutes away, and most of it is in Berwick, that’s an hour of driving.”

Rink to rink between Digby and Clare is 30 minutes.