The North Island celebrated female minor hockey with a special jamboree held at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill on Saturday.
The event included two age divisions: initiation/novice (ages 5-8) and atom/peewee (ages 9-12).
There were 45 participants plus 11 midget Wild players helping out. Of the 45 participants, 17 were from Campbell River, the rest were Tri-Port players, which included a mix of female program and house.
The jamboree was structured as a friendship tournament with the girls mixed together into teams, and each age division played two games.
Kiara Miller, whose sister is Tri-Port Midget Wild goaltender Avary Miller, played back-to-back games in goal for the Intro Girls on Saturday, stating she likes stopping pucks and playing hockey because “it’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s exciting.”
First year Intro Girls coach Ryan Humphrey said he was happy to give back and coach this year. “Both my girls are playing and my dad was a part of me playing hockey growing up and I wanted to be a part of theirs,” he said. “The kids are learning something new everyday.”
The jamboree also included several team building activities, said female minor hockey coordinator Lisa Brown. “The girls learned to curl, were treated to a potluck luncheon, did relay races with the midget Wild girls, with a movie at the Gate House Theatre to finish it off.”
Broughton Curling Club member Nick Russell was in charge of the intro curling portion of the day, and he said he got involved because “My eldest daughter is playing in the intro curling, and it’s just a way to get involved in the community and it was good to see over 45 kids there today.”
The event was hosted by the Wild’s intro girls group, “and the families really stepped up and worked hard to make it a success,” added Brown. “It was a true team effort, which always makes for a great event. All of the girls played with such heart, adding a positive energy to the whole event. Lots of smiles and laughs, new friendships made… a definite success!”
Brown thanked the referees and the Broughton Curling Club volunteers for their help at the event and for use of their rink.
“You helped make the day very special for the girls,” she said, adding another thank you to “the rink staff for keeping everything on schedule and not minding the energy of 45 excited little girls.”
All told, it was another exciting celebration of female hockey on the North Island where everyone left looking forward to next year’s event.