Excitement is already building around town in anticipation of next March when the Lillooet Midgets hockey team hosts the 2012-13 Provincial Championship,
The tournament, scheduled for Mar. 17 to 22, could attract 300 or more people to town, organizer Amber McCabe told the News.
“We are very excited and this is going to be great for Lillooet,” said McCabe. “This is great for our struggling economy and once again we can showcase our beautiful town.”
She said teams are already booking rooms for the tournament. Seven out-of-town teams will compete for the provincial title, along with Lillooet, which receives a by for hosting the tournament.
The first planning meeting for the tournament was held Monday, Oct. 1.
“We will need lots of volunteers to make this a success and we will be out there fund-raising to help offset costs,” McCabe added.
She told the News volunteers will be needed for timekeeping and scorekeeping, to provide security and to assist with the opening ceremonies and a dinner for players, coaches and other officials.
A core group of volunteers has already been assembled. It includes the Lillooet Minor Hockey Association Board, Brandi Deverell, Tara Montjoy, Michelle Harder, Susan Cody, Gina Doyle, Kim Ayers, Nora Billy, Tammy Mountain, Amanda Haughton and Wendy Parker.
“This is going to be a joint effort and I could not do it without any of them,” McCabe stated.
She said the seeds for Lillooet hosting the tournament were planted a few years ago when a team from Lillooet went to the Provincials in Mackenzie.
“It was so much fun and such an amazing experience for all of us and especially the players, that a bunch of us parents were talking and said we should try to apply and host the championship,” McCabe explained. “Well, I talked to a key group of ladies this past spring, asking if they were willing to step up and make this happen. They all said, 'Yes, of course,' and then we wrote a letter to the Lillooet Minor Hockey Board for approval.”
Things progressed rapidly from there.
“We had approval in no time and our letter was then forwarded to the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association to ask for their support and within hours of submitting, they called, we made a few changes on the application and it was sent off.”
She said Lillooet thought its chances were slim because another zone was supposed to host the 2012-13 Provincials.
Instead, “We received word a few weeks ago that we won the bid to host!” said an excited McCabe.
For more information or to volunteer to help with the tournament, please contact Amber McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org