Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Coach's Comments for June 2:

This is in this week's Merritt Herald:

Published: June 01, 2010 6:00 PM

By Luke Pierce, Head Coach

Merritt Centennials Hockey Club

Next Wednesday evening, June 9, at 7 p.m., in the Nicola Valley arena mezzanine, we will be presenting the Merritt Centennials’ Strategic Plan to all who are interested. I have fielded numerous inquiries as to what the meeting will be about so I figured that I would take this opportunity to give a little more insight.

The short version is that we have developed a plan that we believe will help us contend for a provincial/national championship within three years, and we want to share this with you.

The extended version is that the Merritt Centennials have been a part of this community for 37 years, and have gone through some significant ups and downs like any business would over that period of time. What we are hoping to do is create a more intimate relationship between the team and the community that will result in consistent success both on and off the ice.

Creating that relationship encompasses much more than simply having our players pop into schools and businesses from time to time. We want to open up the operations of this hockey club to the entire community so that you have a reason to be involved, and a reason to watch the games.

The reality is that we don’t live in a ‘Field of Dreams’. It’s just not as simple as, “If you build it, they will come.” For nearly four decades the Centennials have been in existence, and through significent portions of that time the people simply have not come. It was built, but they just never showed up.

The simple fact is that too many people didn’t have a reason to come, other than being die-hard hockey fans. Yet, in certain years, the Cents’ games were the thing to do, the arena was the place to be. Reasoning? They were winning, and people were proud of their team.

The reality is we won’t win every night. We need to give people further reason to be involved, and not just as fans. Volunteers, billets, board members, you name them, we want them. We feel the best way to attract the aforementioned is to bring them inside the workings of our organization. We want to give you the opportunity to share in our plans, and help provide us with the insight that may help lead us to our destination.

For the most part, people recognize what the Centennials do for our community. For instance, having the team here helps keep minor hockey costs down, it attracts people to our community, which in turn helps keep the economy rolling, etc.

To be honest, in my opinion those things are all concepts that don’t necessarily inspire fans to fall in love with this team. However, the reality is that when we succeed in getting the Centennials to the level that we desire, the organization can and will act as a catalyst for our local economy.

Until this point, we haven’t given you enough reason to have that sense of pride, but we intend to change that.

At this very moment the Merritt Centennials just do not hold high enough value in our community, through no fault other than our own. We want to change that, and we are going to show you how we intend on doing so. We will make this team the pride of our community, and we want all of you to help us guide the bus!

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