Enthusiastic cheering inside the Marie Sharpe Elementary School gymnasium was at an all-decibel high on Friday, Oct. 5 when the BC Hockey’s Road to the World Juniors Tour stopped in at the school.
The students enjoyed meeting BC Hockey’s new 100th year anniversary mascot Celly, many of them giggled watching his dance moves or scrambled to give him a high-five.
Allan Bristowe, regional centre manager north for BC Hockey, said the tour will visit 40 schools by the end of November.
“We started our northern tour in Smithers, went to Prince George, Fort St. John and Quesnel before Williams Lake,” Bristowe said. “We are off to the Kootenays next.”
With the World Juniors running from Boxing Day until Jan. 5 in Vancouver and Victoria, Bristowe said the tour is not only bringing the World Junior trophy to the schools for students to see it and sharing information about the games, but hoping to encourage kids to be more active.
“If that means playing hockey — even better,” he said. “We are leaving floor ball equipment with the school and teaching some skills today.”
Joining Bristowe on the tour was Stacie Couch, a Victoria-based communications specialist with BC Hockey.
Local Williams Lake Minor Hockey bantam house player Dallas Moe and bantam rep players Ty Oviatt, Curtis Roorda, Cortland Forster and Owen Kielpinski were also on hand to teach hockey skills to the students.
Marie Sharpe is capitalizing on the World Juniors theme by raffling a jersey, donated by Caribou Ski Source for Sports, that Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price wore when he competed in and won the 2007 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Sweden.
Teacher Cindy Grant said the jersey is autographed by Price and is one of four prizes to be won at the school’s carnival on Nov. 7.
The 45-minute presentation culminated with the students posing for a group video where they said the name of their school and said, “Go Canada Go,” that will be shown to Team Canada during the World Juniors.
The tour to Marie Sharpe was funded by the province of B.C. in partnership with I-SPARC.