The GGHA is dedicated to providing a fun environment for females to develop self-esteem and confidence through hockey, by promoting team work, a strong work ethic and athletic commitment, which develops all members to be the best they can be as players, team mates, and leaders for now and for the future.
The Guelph Girls Hockey Association, established in 1996, provides recreational and competitive hockey programs to girls in the City of Guelph and surrounding communities. The GGHA is dedicated to providing female hockey players with an opportunity to participate in physical fitness, to enhance their self-esteem and confidence, and to develop future community volunteers and leaders.
With just 75 participants in the first season, the GGHA has grown each year such that during the 2011-2012 season there were than 480 girls between the ages of 5 and 20 playing hockey on 17 house league and 10 rep teams in five age divisions. Our house league programs provide a safe and positive environment where hundreds of girls enjoy playing recreational hockey and developing friendships in our community. And our representative program provides opportunity for girls with demonstrated hockey skill and desire to enjoy the game at a higher level of competition while representing the City of Guelph.
The GGHA has produced champions and medalists at the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League (LLFHL), its predecessor the Metro Toronto Hockey League, and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) Provincial Championships. Most recently, the Peewee A team won bronze at provincials, and the 2009-10 Bantam BB team won gold at provincials and silver at the LLFHL championships. In addition, many rep and house league teams have participated in and won medals at other OWHA-sanctioned tournaments. Guelph has become a well-respected centre in Ontario for the development of female hockey players.
For the first 22 years the rep teams were known as the Guelph Thunder. (This name was selected by the membership at the time, and only narrowly beat out the Geckos!) In 2013 the GGHA entered into a partnership with the University of Guelph, and the rep teams are now known as the Guelph Jr. Gryphons.
In 2000, the GGHA begin hosting the Annual Guelph Thunderstorm Rep Tournament. Held in early January, the tournament attracts teams from across the province and nearby states, playing in 10 divisions. The 15th Annual tournament will be held January 2-5, 2014 with teams from as far away as Chicago.
In addition to players, the GGHA currently has over 120 adult volunteers involved as coaches, team staff, association executives and tournament committee members. The GGHA is working to increase volunteer engagement by offering opportunities for mentorship, including support for women and older girls from both HL and rep teams to gain coaching experience.