Cranbrook’s U13 Female Bucks hockey team has scored a golden opportunity this year.
For the first time, the team will host the B.C Hockey U13 Female Provincial Championships at the Memorial Arena. From March 23 to March 26, they will compete among eight teams from across B.C for the provincial title.
“Our season has been super successful. The girls’ development has been huge this year. The improvement the girls have made has been very significant. Every time they’ve risen to the challenge. They’ve shown a lot of resilience and integrity. They play with pride. They all work extremely hard,” said provincial host chair Amy Cross.
The event presents a significant opportunity for the players. For many years, Cranbrook did not have a female U13 team, which meant that young girls had fewer chances to compete.
“When I grew up, girls didn’t play hockey, so it’s been really exciting to see that opportunity for my own daughter, being able to see our girls compete at the same levels as the boys,” said Cross.
The event kicks off with a banquet on March 22 at the Colombo Lodge, followed by four days of intense competition. Game admission will be free to the public, but the banquet, which is admission by pre-payment only, is $30.
The total cost to host the event exceeds $20,000 and the team is currently soliciting donations. Cranbrook city council has agreed to supply $500 from its contingency fund.
“Hockey, in the old days, was a male-dominated sport, so this is us supporting diversity and inclusion for girls. I think it’s really improtant that we’re supporting that level of diversity,” said Mayor Wayne Price.
Additional money will come from grants and from a 50/50 raffle, which is run by the team.
Monetary donations will go towards ice and viewing room rentals, the welcome banquet, the opening ceremonies, and player and coach packages.
The U13 Bucks have had a fairly successful season so far, placing third in the Rocky Mountain Hockey League A Division.
“This was very significant. It was the top division. It was playing at the highest here that we can,” said Cross.
Playing alongside the Bucks are Kamloops Blazers, North East Predators, North Island Impact, Richmond Ravens, Prince George Capitals, Tri Cities, and West Kootenay Wildcats.
To see the game schedule visit 2023 U13 Female Championship at bchockey.net.
To take part in the 50/50 raffle visit rafflebox.ca. Sales end March 25.