Known for being the birthplace of hockey, West Hants and its Town of Windsor have a long history with the sport. It’s even home to Canada’s oldest hockey arena, Stannus Street Rink. The Town of Windsor is in the process of consolidation with the Municipality of West Hants which together are building a new sports complex as a replacement to one of the two arenas the Community operates.
When it comes to getting as many kids on the ice as possible, West Hants MHA is always looking for new ways to deliver on that goal. Whether launching a new recreational program, putting on a gear swap to help keep costs down or implementing a new 50/50 program to give parents a tool to fundraise to help offset registration and team fees. As an all-volunteer organization overseeing 300+ players across 16 house and travel teams, West Hants MHA has its hands full—and that’s where finding the right tools makes all the difference.
When West Hants’s registrar, Melissa Sheehy-Richard, heard about Hockey Canada’s partnership with TeamSnap at Hockey Nova Scotia’s AGM, she was all ears. “Immediately, my ears perked up and I was like, ‘Pick me, I’ll do it!’”
For years, registration was done in person and on paper. Busy parents didn’t want to drive to the rink to fill out paperwork and write a check. They kept asking for a better process. “Everybody complained that we were still doing manual registration when other sports organizations offered online registration and everything else is online. Asking, ‘Why can’t West Hants get on the same boat?’” The parents weren’t the only ones looking for a better option.
Once registration was done for the day, West Hants’s work was just getting started.
“We would come home and sort through all those pieces of paper, then enter them into HCR one at a time, screen after screen. Many times finding that parents didn’t fill out all the required information or we couldn’t read their handwriting. We needed to get everyone into the system fast because we were in tryouts and they needed to be insured.”
The experience was much the same once tryouts were over. Within a couple hours of the final tryout time, teams had to be built and coaches needed to know who their players were so they could share the schedule for tomorrow’s practice. This meant another late-night round of data entry as contact info for every player was ported over into the team’s newly-formed group email chain.
It wasn’t just that the process was time consuming. It meant a lot of additional work at every stage along the way.
By bringing everything online with TeamSnap, West Hants vastly improved the registration and payment process. Gone were days of showing up in person and braving the August heat. Parents could register quickly and from anywhere, a big win for the MHA’s 300+ families. Equally important were the many wins on the administration side.
Now when players showed up for tryouts or registered for the upcoming season, their Hockey Canada membership would be instantly verified with TeamSnap’s HCR integration and once all the teams were ready, those assignments could be directly shared with Hockey Canada, all without any additional data entry.
Managing their season used to require a separate tool and a time-consuming, tedious, error-prone manual process. Bringing everything under one roof has saved an enormous amount of time.
“Before, it was three different people spending hours and hours doing the same thing over and over—for 300+ kids!”
TeamSnap has simplified how West Hants manages registration, payments, rostering and even the handoff to coaches and team managers. Since it’s all tied to an integrated platform, everything’s connected, including communication. “When we have an association-wide email about tryouts or an update on our website or we need to contact division managers, we can easily do that. It’s been a game changer for us.”
From frustrated parents to overworked volunteers, everyone in West Hants MHA was ready for a change. So, how do the parents feel about the new registration process?
“People love it! It takes a millisecond to register their kid and then they can pay with a credit card or select pay offline for e-transfer or cash payments.”
When it comes to the HCR integration and the hours saved, Melissa’s experience has been fantastic. “It’s just unreal. The link from TeamSnap directly to HCR has been magical.”