Hosting a provincial hockey tournament is a big deal, said organizer, Gerry Ortner, of the Quesnel and District Minor Hockey Association peewee tourney, March 17 – 22.
“It’s going exceptionally well,” Ortner said of the preparations for the B.C. peewee AAA hockey championships.
“We’re well ahead of schedule.”
Hosting a provincial championship is no small task, but Ortner has already organized two tournaments which gives him a foot up on the organizing of this tournament, but he wants to make this tournament special, something the young hockey players will remember.
Although the championship is still many months away, Ortner said there is much to be done and is counting on the support of the local hockey community as well as the businesses and municipal governments for their support.
The challenge in organizing such an event is to get a core group of volunteers with special skills.
“It takes the right group of people,” Ortner said.
The QDMHA will incur costs in hosting the provincial championships, including opening ceremonies, salaries for the on-ice officials, hosting a banquet for the
players and coaches and paying for ice time.
Some of these costs will be offset by a $5,000 provincial grant the QDMHA received from Hosting B.C.
Local sponsors have also stepped forward to provide financial support to the organizing committee, an important hurdle organizers managed to get over.
Having sponsorships in place means Ortner knows he can pay for the ice time and the on-ice officials, some of which will be coming from out of town, required to run the 10-team championship which will feature the peewee Quesnel Thunder.
“Those are the bigger ticket items in our budget,” Ortner said.
The tournament will provide a welcome boost to the local economy, with each team bringing 20 players accompanied by their parents, plus coaches, all of whom will be taking hotel rooms and buying meals in Quesnel.
“We [QDMHA] rely heavily on sponsorships and this is a way of returning the favour,” Ortner said.
“Having about 500 people spending five to six nights here will have a positive impact on the economy.”
The bottom line for Ortner and his fellow organizers and volunteers is to make the championship tournaments a
memorable experience for the players and their families.
“I want them to leave with good memories,” Ortner said.
If interested in volunteering call 250-991-0082, or email email@example.com.