The Aldergrove Friendship Hockey Peewee team is continuing a proud tradition that started back in Aldergrove Arena in 1986.
In that year Aldergrove hosted a Japanese team and it was such a success that one of the Japanese parents, Mr. Canary, has sponsored a cross-cultural hockey tournament every other year since. This “Friendship” tournament is based on good sportsmanship and camaraderie, and winning is not the goal.
Every other year it is hosted by a different city and country, with the upcoming March 12-21, 2017 tourney to be hosted by St. Paul, Minnesota.
Teams from Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. take their turn to travel to the host city, where they are billeted by host families and also get to see the local sights as the hosts show off their hometown.
With an anticipated budget of $60,000 the Aldergrove team is busily fundraising. The hockey parents have already held a ladies’ night, a poker night and a garage sale. This Sunday, May 22 the team will be selling hot dogs at the Otter Co-op’s main store on 248 Street and they invite supporters to drop by for a bite of lunch (they also have booked a return date at Otter Co-op on June 11 for another hotdog sale).
Four Aldergrove hockey moms are heading up the fundraising committee: Christina Fryer, Donna Robertson, Angie Letexier and Kristina Charles.
“The tradition lives on,” says a smiling Charles, who billeted Friendship players in 2013 when Aldergrove last hosted the tourney, and whose brother played in the tournament back in his peewee hockey days.
So far the Aldergrove team is all boys but they are still looking for a couple more players and girls are welcome to apply. The players must be born between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2005.
“There is a girl who is considering joining,” says Robertson.
“The hockey is secondary to the experience. It’s about the work and effort, the bonding, and being immersed in other cultures.”
One parent is expected to accompany each player, although the parents must pay their own way.
Meet the team this Sunday at Otter Co-op and offer your support.