100 years ago in Cobalt, Ontario, the Northern Ontario Hockey Association was formed. Realizing the unification of the Clubs, Teams, and Associations under one banner in Northern Ontario would benefit all, Angus D. Campbell founded the NOHA with the goal of providing a positive and safe environment for Minor Hockey players in the North.
Hockey is a staple of Northern Ontario, and the NOHA has committed itself over the last 100 years to providing its Members the best in quality in Development, Safety, Competition, and Fun.
In conjunction with the Ontario Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada, the NOHA has developed countless Coaches, Trainers, Officials, and Players. By offering education and clinics, our Coaches are up to date on the latest in development techniques, safety, and creating not only great hockey players, but great citizens. Each year, the NOHA hosts its Program of Excellence Development Weekend, where Players, Coaches, and Officials all learn the latest in game techniques as well as education in health and nutrition.
At the end of each season, the NOHA hosts the Tournament of Champions in both Representative and House League categories, where Teams play to become the NOHA Champions. In AA and A categories, those Teams move on to represent the North in the OHF Championships.
Grassroots festivals are also a mainstay of the NOHA, which brings hockey back to where it all started. It’s important to focus not only on the competitive level, but also recreational hockey, where having fun and learning to be a good Teammate is the ultimate goal. These festivals allow everyone in the community to come together and have a great day on the ice.
Over the past few years, the NOHA has focused on supporting our Members as new programming began. We were able to secure a grant through the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help purchase boards for half-ice hockey, and will continue to pursue more opportunities so that every Northern Association is fully equipped. We facilitate and promote a number of programs to aid Associations and Teams, including the First Shift program for new players, Dodge Caravan Kids sponsorship, Chevy Good Deeds Cup, and many more.
For the 100th Anniversary celebration, the NOHA held a banquet and concert, celebrating the many extraordinary hockey people to come from the North. We unveiled the All-Century Team, which consisted of seven of the top NOHA alumni, voted in by the Members. The NOHA All-Century Team included: Tony Esposito, Tim Horton, Randy Carlyle, Ron Francis, Frank Mahovlich, Phil Esposito, and Al Arbour.
Moving forward, the NOHA looks to continue to invest in our communities and develop our Players, Coaches, and Officials to be the best they can be. Through Grassroots festivals and Programming, we hope to allow every child who wants to play hockey to have the ability to play on a Team. Most of all, the NOHA looks to continue fostering a safe, inclusive environment for Players where they can learn to not only develop their skills on the ice, but to become excellent citizens off the ice as well.
Thank you for 100 years of amazing hockey in the North, and here’s to 100 more.