The NOHA Development Weekend isn’t just about finding the right players for Team NOHA, it’s also an excellent development opportunity for the over 80 players participating. Divided into teams with players they may have faced as rivals during the season, the players take part in educational seminars, work with specialty instructors, and make friends and connections that will last a lifetime.
In conjunction with the OHF (Ontario Hockey Federation), which runs development camps throughout the province, the NOHA strives to provide a space for players to learn, develop, and determine how to pursue their hockey objectives.
The biggest priority is to provide this opportunity to as many players as possible, and for the NOHA and OHF to learn from the players why they want to participate and what their struggles may be in the geographic landscape of Northern Ontario.
Athletes who don’t live in large Centres may not always have the opportunity to play on a AAA team, so discovering how to best service these players and their families is paramount. Players from all over Northern Ontario participate in Development Weekend, and while many play AAA during the year, there are players who have played on AA and A teams who are embracing the opportunity to learn and develop.
Zack Lajoie of Temiskaming Shores and Ryan Maynard of Cochrane both played Bantam A last season, and are excited to attend Development Weekend to learn how to push their game forward and meet the AAA players and coaches.
“We have to live up to the high expectations,” both said, stating their determination to push themselves to learn the skills they need to play high-level hockey. For these two players, the states are higher, as they work hard to make an impression on their coaches and teammates. The ultimate goal is to make Team NOHA, travel to well-known tournaments, and be a presence at a higher level.
They also look forward to meeting other players and forging new friendships. Friends who have attended Development Weekend in previous years have encouraged them to attend, to learn and have fun along the way.
The 2017-2018 NOHA Development Weekend continues through to Sunday, August 12th, with games at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury, Ontario.