Hockey was in Kirk’s blood at a young age and as a child he just hated to see the ice melt. After years of being away from organized hockey he was able to return to coaching for a couple of years at Silver Heights Collegiate in the High School Women’s League as his daughter played there. With her graduating and having little option in hockey he turned his efforts towards helping create a Junior Women’s League as the next stepping stone for young women from the Midget ranks and that of High School hockey. And now, in large part to Kirk’s efforts, after 5 years Manitoba has a thriving Junior Women’s League (MWJHL) consisting of 7 teams and approximately 120 players.
Kirk recognizes that success does not come alone and indicates it also took the efforts of others, including another dedicated hockey person, Randy Dalton, who worked closely with him to help coordinate the details and gather a small group of volunteers to ensure the formation and viability of the league. Myra and Kelly Smith and Treasure Ross were also part of the initial stages of league formation. Kirk also indicates that Hockey Manitoba and Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association played important roles as well as both organizations “provided the guidance for the newcomers to Junior women’s hockey and allowed us to grow and develop”.Manitoba now has a great resource of young women eager to continue hockey and to consider Coaching and Officiating.
Kirk’s philosophy has been to work with the young women to help shape their league and make it a “league with a difference”.The league feels strongly that they are achieving this and it has clearly been a wonderful five years of hockey with consistent league growth.Kirk would like to acknowledge the numerous volunteers, dedicated coaches, loyal fans and his tremendous family support over the years.
Hockey Manitoba congratulates Kirk Kuppers as the January 2009 Volunteer of the Month.