100 Mile loses half hosting rights of Provincial Cup soccer

Werner Heine

Werner Heine

Optimism and enthusiasm have been deemed not enough to keep the hosting of both the BC Soccer U13 and U15 Boys and Girls Youth Provincial B Cup Finals in the hands of the 100 Mile House & District Soccer Association (OMHSA).

Last June, the club was granted both of those tournaments, to be hosted simultaneously in July in 100 Mile, but last week, local organizers were told by the BC Soccer Association that the U13 event would be moved elsewhere. Concern over a possible lack of local accommodation space for about 500 visiting players and others associated with the event was the reason for the change in plan.

Werner Heine, OMHSA communications and sponsorship director, says the initial reaction to the decision from club members was one of surprise.

Earlier, he adds, the tournament organizing committee had also been concerned about a shortage of accommodation space, but a survey of the area showed that between local hotels, campgrounds, resorts, and hotels in Williams Lake, it was realistic to believe there was room for everyone.

“All we could think of was that people from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island might not be accustomed to that, and just wanted hotels.

“We knew we had lots of hotel space in Williams Lake, which is 50 minutes away, but my perception is that’s not acceptable. Obviously, if everyone wanted to stay in a hotel, it would not work.”

Heine says that while the committee was disheartened by the decision, it has for the most part gotten over it and is moving forward.

Those feelings are not necessarily shared by members of the local U13 team, which has been training all winter in anticipation of getting a bye to play in the tournament, as is customary for the host community.

“There’s still a level of disappointment among the U13 team [members] who thought they would be competing at home. It would have been nice if that decision had been made before approval of the tournaments.”

The U15 tournament will go on as planned, with 320 players, along with their family members, coaches and officials, expected to be involved.

“There are no sour grapes. After the initial disappointment wore off and we slept a couple of nights, we’re all OK now.

“In a way, it makes it a bit easier for us. We are now over it and concentrating on making this a success.”