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

Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Local author wins gold medal for new book Fat Cats

Former parks warden’s series welcomes new addition to the canon

Oak Bay to host secondary suite open house on Thursday

Online secondary suite survey will run April 25 until May 10

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read