SMGHA Brief History (Stouffville-Markham Girls Hockey)

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SMGHA Brief History

September 2000


The Stouffville Markham-Girls Hockey Association is entering its 23th year of existence. In 1977 we were set up as the Whitchurch-Stouffville Girls Hockey Association to promote Girls Hockey in Markham and Stouffville.The name was changed in 1998 to include Markham, as girls participating from that area expanded to make up about 50% of our overall participants.

While our total registration is expected to top 350 girls for the 2000-2001 season, it has been a constant struggle to become recognized as a legitimate sport.  In 1986, the league had diminished to two ladies teams, mainly made up the original girls that kicked off the league 9 years prior.  With the threat of extinction, a campaign by Cliff Dunkeld (who is now a councilor in Stouffville) was launched to revive girls hockey at the younger ages (girls aged 7-9).  We managed to register 24 girls who wanted to learn the game of hockey and proceeded to rent one hour of ice per week.  These two teams played each other every Wednesday for the first year.

The next year four teams participated in a house league program and one select team was formed to compete in tournaments.  Slowly the numbers continued to grow. By 1990 the house league expanded to 2 divisions (junior and senior).  Also that year the Peewee rep team won the Brampton tournament, which was, and still is, the largest hockey tournament in North America.  Two weeks later this same team made the whole town proud by capturing the Provincial crown.

By 1993, we had 125 members playing on 8 house league teams and three competitive teams that played in the North Metro Girls Hockey League.

At the 2000 championships, the Association kicked off the millennium in fine style by capturing 2 North Metro League titles, and 3 OWHA Provincial titles.  These banners hang proudly in our arena.

We really have come a long way!