‘Ya gotta have friends’
On Saturday, the Aldergrove Bruins Friendship Hockey team left for 12 days to the Friendship Hockey Tournament hosted this year by St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Aldergrove families have been working for two years to raise cash to go to this tournament. It is a international tournament with visitors from Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA, making up a total of 16 teams. The Aldergrove Bruins are the only Peewee team representing Canada.
This group of players and families and two coaches, Rom Ranallo and Kevin LeTexier, should be recognized for their extremely hard work for our small community in representing our country.
The boys are billeted by families in surrounding areas during the friendly competition, which has its roots in Aldergrove. Back in 1986 Aldergrove Minor Hockey Association hosted an Atom B invitational tournament and one of the teams was the Hachinohe White Bears from Japan.
Mr. Kaneiri, a Japanese businessman, was there and fulfilled his dream of hosting an international peewee hockey tournament (ages 12-13) in 1989, in celebration of his home city’s 60th anniversary.
The Friendship Hockey Tournament is not a business or profit-driven event but rather a vehicle for young hockey players from around the world, boys and girls, to play against each other in the spirit of friendship and fair play. It’s not about winning the games but about fostering mutual respect and understanding.
The tournament prides itself on the fact that there are no losers. All participants win by being part of the tournament.
Aldergrove has attended every tournament, held every second year, and has also hosted the event several times over the course of its history.