JCI member and chair of the Skaha Street Hockey Tournament Josh L’Heureux takes a shot on Matt Petersen during the kick off event at the Barley Mill for the tournament which will take place in conjunction with the Penticton Peach Festival. Kristi Patton/Western News

Peachfest/JCI taking it to the streets

The Skaha Street Hockey Tournament will take place during the Penticton Peach Festival

JCI Penticton is taking hockey to the streets this summer, bringing a recreational tournament to the Penticton Peach Festival while fundraising for the YES Project.

Held over two days (Aug. 10 and 11) during Peachfest, the Skaha Lake Street Hockey Tournament is a four-on-four event now registering teams of youth and adults.

JCI member and tournament chair Josh L’Heureux said he was batting ideas around about a fundraiser when street hockey came up.

“The discussion was Penticton likes sports, what sports does Penticton like? Penticton likes hockey. Well, I don’t play ice hockey but I have played a lot of street hockey. There has never been a fun and games street hockey tournament here so we started working on it,” said L’Heureux.

Proceeds of the tournament go to the YES Project, who are fundraising for a youth resource centre in Penticton and have the goal to establish free and fun activities for Penticton youth all year long.

Related: Penticton youth centre finally gets a home

“The most exciting goal and pillar of the YES Project is our youth resource centre. A few months ago we put a downpayment on 501 Main St. It is 20,000 square feet … with the fundraising we have done so far we were able to secure the building and do the renovations upstairs,” said Amberlee Erdmann.

Their next big push is for the Foundry Penticton, operated through OneSky, which will operate the basic needs, access to doctors, a sexual health clinic, a learning kitchen and the ability to walk in and see a councillor on the spot if needed.

Related: Youth centre gains key support in the Foundry

“The community support we have received so far is astonishing. Having Peachfest support us last year with the Pentown Throwdown, and this year, and this great fundraiser through JCI, we are so grateful. We have a $3 million fundraising goal and we are well over $1 million. Our next big push is to get Foundry up and running,” said Erdmann.

The new addition to the Penticton Peach Festival is the second event at the Skaha end of the city that they host under their umbrella in conjunction with other organizing groups — the Skaha Lake Ultra Swim was added last year. Outside of Okanagan Lake Park, Peachfest has added the PenTown Throwdown at the Penticton Skate Park, the peach bin races and the Sheila Bishop Wood Bat slo-pitch tournament.

“Everybody thinks about Peachfest as being the big parade on Saturday and five days of entertainment in the park, but there are so many other events that are a part of Peachfest. Every year we have been trying to add new events and this fits in perfect with Peachfest mission to create a family-fun festival,” said Peach Festival president, Don Kendall.

Each team at the Skaha Lake Street Hockey Tournament is guaranteed to play three games, with the leaders continuing on to the championship. There will also be a skills competition, door prizes, bouncy castles and food trucks on site. Teams can have a maximum six-person roster (three runners, one goalie and up to two spares).

The street hockey tournament will have two youth divisions and one adult division. Registration is $120 for teams under 18, $150 for adult teams. To register and see the tournament rules visit www.skahastreethockey.com.

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