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DVHL brings families together for community hockey experience

By Jack Williams, 10/16/23, 7:00PM EDT


ASTON, Pa. — Speaking with Larry Sechuk, the Vice President - Marketing at the DVHL, it becomes immediately apparent how passionate he is about his job. He’s proud to work for an organization that, in his mind, helps kids grow into outstanding hockey players and even better citizens. “The league has been around since the early 1970’s, and it really is a well-respected organization,” he explained. “Many kids have come through DVHL organizations that have gone on to play at higher levels or hold down productive jobs at a high level.”

Mr. Sechuk believes that it is absolutely essential that this commitment to helping kids grow is woven into the fabric of the organization at every level.  “The cornerstone of our organization is to get coaches to teach kids about teamwork, about being successful, about how to fight adversity. It teaches kids that hard work gets you somewhere in life because it gets you somewhere playing the sport,” he elaborated. “Build not just the player, but the character. That’s just what lends itself to players being productive not just in the sport but in life.” To Mr. Sechuck, there’s no clearer indication that the league is doing its job than when former players return to the program to try and give to younger players what the league did for them. “Kids who come up through the DVHL, once they get to a certain age level, they come back and pay it forward and invest back in the DVHL. To do for the kids what the DVHL did for them. It shows you the values that DVHL puts into investing in young people.”

He's similarly proud of how the DVHL allows for serious competition, while also being a great starting point for kids to try hockey for the first time. For neophytes looking to join a team, he has some specific recommendations: “Start out with Tier-II hockey. It gives parents a chance to understand travel hockey…a chance to find out how their child likes ice hockey without a huge investment. Tier-I travel hockey could be across state lines. It involves a lot of travel. Tier-II lets kids learn and find out whether they want to make a conscious decision to play at a higher level.”

While the intensity at Tier-I can be alluring for some, Mr. Sechuk is passionate about providing that more casual entry point where quality time with your family can intersect with the game he loves. “It’s a place for a kid to get their first sport under their belt. DVHL is an entry level point for people learning how to play while also balancing hockey and family life. It doesn’t disrupt a family’s plans or their lifestyle.” If anything, Mr. Sechuk believes that DVHL hockey contributes to family life. It’s why there’s such a concerted effort to keep teams integrated within local communities. “[The rinks] are close to where people live. Ice rinks are usually less than 30 minutes from your house. It gives families weekends together. You can try it out, and then if that kid develops, falls in love with the sport, you say: ‘maybe my kid wants to play at a higher level’. It’s the best of both worlds.”

So, what’s next for the DVHL? Mr. Sechuk isn’t resting on his laurels; he’s excited to keep growing and developing the league for years to come. “The DVHL goes the extra distance in partnering with development programs with professional organizations and bringing events to various rinks, so we are able to have excitement within the product we’re delivering. It’s not an organization that is complacent. We’re always looking for the new and best way to deliver hockey to our players and to the parents.”