The BC U15 Tier 4 BC Hockey Championships will be held in 100 Mile House March 18-22, for the first time in 15 years.
Five teams from across B.C. are expected to attend the event, according to 100 Mile House Minor Hockey host committee chair Marie Schaff. In addition to the teams and families coming in, the 100 Mile organization must also bring in out-of-town referees plus a BC Hockey representative.
“It’s quite a big endeavour,” said Schaff. “We’re very excited. This is a huge thing for our community.”
Roxanne Sutton, past-president of the 100 Mile Minor Hockey Association, said the first year for the 100 Mile House U15 Rep team has been tough and she hopes this will not be the only season they get to play as a rep team.
The 18-person team plays in the North Central district league, as well as guests in Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association (OMAHA). This includes all teams in the U15 Rep Tier 4 or Flight 3 U15 division south of 100 Mile House.
“They are a young team and play and work really hard. They’re a good group of kids,” she said.
Sutton said it is important to the team to be able to represent their town at this event and showcase their talents.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea we get to host the provincials. It’s nice to be able to give back to our community. You know, we’re filling up hotels, restaurants and grocery stores.”
She noted minor hockey is always asking local businesses to donate multiple items so this is a way to give back a little.
“It’s a great economy,” said District of 100 Mile House Mayor Pinkney. “Along with them renting facilities like the community hall for their banquet and hotel rooms and restaurants for food – every time we can host a tournament here it just puts us back on the map for holding more.”
Pinkney added that the economic development spin-off events like this keep building on what a great town we are.
“Everyone that comes, they’re always saying that our town is so friendly, they’re so accommodating. That it’s so easy to get around. And so, it’s fantastic.”
The tournament will start off with a dinner for the players and coaches on Saturday with the first two games and opening ceremonies happening Sunday, said Schaff. The Tsq’escenemc First Nation (Canim Lake Band) has been invited to perform a blessing for the games.
Schaff said there will also be raffle tables and 50/50 sales at all the games.
Organizers are looking for sponsors and a number of volunteers are needed for each game. Anyone who can provide sponsorship or give some time for the tournament is asked to get in touch with Schaff at firstname.lastname@example.org
The U15 team is doing fundraising such as bottle drives in addition to holding a silent auction at one of the 100 Mile House Wranglers games.
“We’re trying to raise money so that we can make sure all the kids that come have a great experience,” said Schaff.
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