It’s the beginning of a new era for the Fernie Ghostriders. With the president of the past 12 years, Phil Iddon, stepping down because of work commitments, Barb Anderson is stepping up to take over.
A member of the Ghostriders executive for the past few years, Anderson realizes she has some very big shoes to fill.
“Replacing Phil is huge,” remarked Anderson. “Phil used to do a lot of things that a lot of people didn’t realize he did, so everybody is prepared to pitch in and cover those voids. Phil also had a lot of knowledge on the KIJHL and all of that.”
She went on to say, “My strength is I know B.C. Minor Hockey, and I know the societies and I know the game itself. I do have to learn the bylaws and the constitution and the KIJHL rules, but I don’t feel that is going to be a real difficult challenge.”
It’s a new role for Anderson, however she has been involved with the Ghostriders in one way or another for many years. The longtime hockey mom first got to know the team when she and her children were involved with Sparwood Minor Hockey. The Ghostriders, who were still a Junior A club at the time, used to come out to the kids’ games to sign autographs, and even held a few games in Sparwood.
“When [the Ghostriders] turned Junior B, they of course were looking for support from the hockey associations, and myself and the president of Sparwood Minor Hockey at the time, were definitely in support of them going Junior B,” Anderson commented. “We just knew that with the Junior B program, it was going to be really beneficial to the boys in the Valley to be able to play junior hockey locally.”
After going on to become president of Elk Valley Minor Hockey, Anderson continued to be in constant contact with the Ghostriders. Her oldest son ended up becoming a Rider, and a few years later her youngest son played with the team as well. After her sons’ careers with the team came to an end a few years ago, Anderson took on a more serious role with the Ghostriders.
“I was finished with minor hockey and I really wanted to be involved with hockey, I really enjoyed hockey, so I thought you know what, I’ll be part of the Fernie Ghostriders from the executive level,” she explained. “This year Phil had made the decision that he was going to give up his post as president and I thought, why not? I’m part of the executive already and a lot of the other members have encouraged me, so I knew that I had support.”
“We have a fantastic team, some of them have been around for many, many years, both with the Junior A program and with the Junior B program. So the knowledge base and the experience is extensive, and they’re just a really solid group. I thought walking into something like that, where it’s so established, would be a very fortunate opportunity.”
The first act of business for the new president? Hiring a new coach. Anderson said the team is in the process of finalizing their decision and an announcement is due in the next week.
The 2013/14 season may still be a few months away, but Anderson is looking forward to her new position with Fernie’s well-loved hockey team.
“It’s a super team. We’re a profitable group and a very well respected group. Any boy that wants to play with the Fernie Ghostriders and gets the chance, it’s a pretty lucky day for them,” she said. “We have always gotten a lot of support from the community and businesses and we certainly couldn’t do it without them. That’s certainly something I hope we can continue to build on.”