World Junior tryouts expected to have far-reaching economic effects

The Q Centre’s rep set to take major strides

Rick Stiebel

News staff

The national selection camp for Canada’s junior hockey team in Colwood could create the kind of buzz that extends far beyond the West Shore.

Dave Saunders believes the three games Dec. 12 to 14 to decide who suits up for Canada in the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation world junior championship will have a ripple effect that draws more attention to The Q Centre in particular and sports tourism in general.

“Sports tourism is an evolving industry on the West Shore,” said Saunders, whose family is synonymous with supporting amateur sports throughout the region.

RELATED: World Juniors fast approaching as training camp begins in Colwood

“The West Shore has some of the best facilities in the region. Langford has done a great job of supporting that, and the ambience and fan experience at The Q Centre has already drawn accolades. It’s great to see that happening in Colwood, and it helps spread the message far and wide about the great things going on here. The more sports tourism, the better.”

The three games against the U Sports all-star team will increase the passion for hockey that already exists throughout the region, said Saunders, who has coached girls minor hockey in the Juan de Fuca organization for 16 years.

“You can’t measure the impact watching high-calibre hockey will have on the kids and coaches involved in minor hockey,” he noted. “Having the tryout camp here is absolutely fabulous.”

RELATED: Organizers expect full arenas for World Juniors in Vancouver, Victoria

Saunders, who played for the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Cougars and with the Cowichan Capitals in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League, still laces up the skates in a recreational league on Wednesday nights. “My wife, my daughters and sisters all play…The whole family is pumped for the games at The Q Centre.”

The games will have a measurable impact on local businesses as well, he noted. “Sports tourism creates jobs and brings more people to our community,” he added with an enthusiastic “Go Canada go.”

Arena and events co-ordinator Rob Wilson said everyone is working hard to ensure the upcoming games are a success.

“Having 34 players in camp creates a buzz in the community,” he said.

“It’s exciting for all the businesses to have all the boys come in for dinner or stay in a local accommodation. Everyone gets to feel like part of Team Canada when the players come to your community. All of the staff at West Shore parks and Recreation are very excited and are everyone’s stepping up to prepare for next week.”

The tryouts at The Q Centre, which holds about 2,800 people, will be followed by exhibition games against Switzerland Dec. 19 and Slovakia Dec. 21 at Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena in Victoria. Tickets for the Canada U-Sports games are $15 HockeyCanada.ca and The Q Centre and Save-on-Foods arena box offices.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

War bride’s oversea voyage to Canada took a leap of faith

More than 45,000 women immigrated to Canada after the Second World War

One woman’s scrapbook uncovered at Fort Rodd Hill tells story of thousands during Second World War

Joyce Margaret Whitney served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps from 1942 to 1946

A time of remembrance

Hundreds gather at Canadian Legion to honour those who have served and sacrificed

VIDEO: Hundreds gather at Langford’s Veterans Memorial Park for Remembrance Day

More than 65 wreaths laid, including homemade wreath from Afghan veteran

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Victoria Jazz Orchestra concert raises funds for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre

Maria Manna on tap for the Nov. 16 performance in Victoria

Renowned men’s chorus ‘Back by Popular Demand’ in Victoria

One of Canada’s premier singing ensembles kicks off its 39th season on Nov. 16

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Most Read