It’s been years since Tanya Noble laced up a pair of skates. Every Thursday
night, a group of moms would meet at the Tri-County Complex for a game of
pick-up. As her son, Mayson, got older – and into hockey himself – Tanya
decided to redirect her attention. While you won’t find Tanya on the ice
anymore, you also won’t find a person more passionate about creating the
best possible hockey experience for hundreds of kids in Fredericton
“I love seeing the kids play and enjoy themselves and being able to be
involved in a sport that they all love,” says Noble. “I didn’t have that
when I was a kid; we didn’t really have anything other than softball. To
see all these kids have fun and enjoy getting together – as well as learn
skills and life lessons from their coaches – that’s what does it for me.
It’s about the kids, and to give all kids a chance to enjoy the sport.”
“She’s a quiet person but she does so much,” says Lisa McLaughlin,
president of the Tri-County Minor Hockey Association (TMHA). “She does so
much that people don’t even realize how much she’s doing. Her mind is
always thinking ‘How can we do things better, how can we be more organized,
what can we do to improve this?’ She is just so valuable.
“I always describe her that she’s my left arm,” says McLaughlin, laughing,
“and I say that because I’m left-handed. I really don’t know how we
would’ve gotten through the last few years without her supporting us and
laying a lot of the background work that seldom gets recognized.”
Noble has been the secretary/registrar for the TMHA for more than six
years. A friend knew she had done some secretarial work and asked her to
come to a meeting to take notes. That eventually led to an invitation to
take on the volunteer position full time.
Her fellow board members have crowned her the queen of spreadsheets and
organization. She rosters more than 150 players and more than 50 coaches
each season. She touches base weekly with those needing courses, criminal
checks and certifications. She takes detailed notes at every meeting.
(She’s become such a vault of knowledge that board members know to just
“Ask Tanya” if they need to find something.) She ensures all coaches have
their necessary credentials and the MHA is compliant in everything it does.
A visual learner, Noble took it upon herself to create step-by-step
instructions to walk new hockey parents through the Respect in Sport
process. “They’re new to the sport, and it can be overwhelming for them,”
she says. “[I wanted to] give them something that’s going to make their
At Noble’s suggestion, the TMHA created a new policy – parents would get
their Respect in Sport documents at registration and need to complete the
course before their kids could hit the ice instead of by the standard Dec.
15 deadline. “It’s streamlined the process immensely for our association,”
says McLaughlin. “The document she created was sent out to the other
associations in our district as a good way to deal with the Respect in
Sport hurdle that comes up for associations.”
As methodical as Noble is, she’s equally creative. Take last season’s
When Noble arrived to decorate, she brought with her 10 homemade poster
boards – one for each team in the TMHA. Each poster board included a
cut-out jersey for every team member, complete with the player’s name and
number on the back.
“Things like that are so time consuming but they mean so much,” says
McLaughlin. “You could see all the kids looking at the poster boards and
looking for their names.”
“All the little touches – it makes people happy,” says Noble. “It makes me
happy to see people happy. I enjoy doing it. I love to tinker around, and
it’s just the added touch to see the smile on their faces. Kids know that
they’re respected and we want them there.”
She devotes these countless hours to volunteering while working a full-time
job with the government of New Brunswick. Noble has been deemed an
essential worker during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like everyone, her days are
now different, but she’s happy to be in a position to help others. Her job
involves ensuring people have the tools and resources they need to feel
more secure about their future.
While the hockey season has been cut unexpectedly short, Noble’s line
remains open. She continues to assist parents and anyone else who reaches
out with questions, as well as handle her regular responsibilities with the
TMHA. She’s proud to be a member of what she considers a great team.
“I’m just one person within the Tri-County Minor Hockey Association,” she
says. “The board members are a great group who all have the same goal – to
provide a memorable hockey experience for as many families as possible in