In a sure sign of things to come, Oceanside Place was hockey camp central last weekend, as some 80 female players ages nine-17 were put through their paces as part of Rocky Hockey Training.
For camp founder and head instructor Dominique Di Rocco, the turnout “was super encouraging.”
Dom, 26, is from Port Alberni and played hockey (she was a forward) from the age of 10-24, playing most of her minor hockey career out of Nanaimo.
She played Midget with the North Island Stars, a AAA team made up ofd players Duncan North to Port Hardy, and went on to play for the Red Deer College Queens in the ACAC and then transferred to UBC after two seasons and played two seasons with the Thunderbirds.
“I’ve been doing camps for girls with friends on a small scale for the last four summer and I decided I wanted to take it to the next level… I think it’s important,” she said, explaining “female hockey numbers (on the Island) have taken a hit the last few years and that was why I started Rock Hockey.”
Di Rocco, who does a lot of development work on the Lower Mainland for different associations, flew out last Sunday for Clarenville, Newfoundland to run a camp for a week out there.
“I’m pretty excited to see the East Coast of Canada — it’s definitely an exciting opportunity for me.”
As for the first-ever Rock Hockey camp at Oceanside Place last weekend, about 50 per cent of the camp were local girls.
“It’s exciting to see that type of turnout locally.”
Helping out at the camp, which featured dryland and on-ice sessions, were local female players Marissa Jordan and Rock Hockey regular Celine Tardiff, 17, also from Parksiville, now playing and attending school with the Okanagan Hockey Academy and a member of the 2013 Team B.C.