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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore businesses bring fitness online during COVID-19

At-home workouts offered to help community keep fit

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read