Some Surrey hockey parents are launching their own academy with the goal of playing games next September.
Metro Hockey is a new “elite academy” with a focus on Bantam teams this year, according to an email sent to prospects on Tuesday (Feb. 12).
The private academy will aim to provide 13- and 14-year-old student-athletes “with a pro-development experience while they remain at their current school with their friends,” the email adds.
Academy organizers will host an hour-long info session, open to players and parents, on Sunday evening (Feb. 17) at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex (16555 Fraser Hwy.), from 7 to 8 p.m.
Michael Chong, parent of a first-year Bantam division player with Surrey Minor Hockey Association, responded to a Now-Leader request for an interview on Wednesday.
Chong said he is chief operating officer of the academy and co-founder of the venture with seven other Surrey-area parents.
“We are looking for something better than what the associations can provide but without the money being charged by the existing academies, so we are something in between,” Chong said.
“We’ve spent almost a year and a half talking with parents about the pros and cons, how it could work, the price point, all those things.”
The parent group has secured the services of instructors led by Andrew Sharp, who operates SharpShooter Hockey Training in Langley, among others named in a “Coaches Corner” tab at metrohockeyacademy.ca.
Chong said Metro Hockey is not affiliated with BC Hockey, the sport’s governing body in the province, and is not part of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) that involves Delta, BWC, Yale and other local academy teams.
“The long-term goal is to have our own league going,” Chong said. Starting this fall, he said Metro will play games against two other private academies being launched. “We’re also in the process of talking with other academies in Washington State” about league play, he said.
Metro aims to attract players from Cloverdale, Surrey, White Rock, North Delta, Maple Ridge, Langley and other areas. “We’re getting interest from all over, even South Delta and Richmond,” Chong said.
The presentation on Sunday “will include who we are, our mission and goals, benefits with Metro, team overview, coaches, program cost and easy payment structures, and tryout schedule and costs,” the email explains.