The love of the game

Summerlanders have shown hockey is important to the community.

With a strong Junior B team, an active minor hockey association and vibrant recreational teams, Summerlanders have shown hockey is important to the community.

Summerland has been entered into this year’s Kraft Hockeyville competition, a nationwide initiative for communities to demonstrate their love of the game.

More than 1,000 entries from across the country were received by the time nominations closed on the weekend.

The Hockeyville title, or even a place among the top 10 finalists would give the community a chance at national recognition for its hockey culture.

Funding from a top ranking would help to pay for renovations to the 39-year-old arena.

The first-place and second-place communities in the nationwide competition will each receive $100,000 in arena upgrades, while the remaining eight of the top 10 communities will receive $25,000 for upgrades to their arenas.

While the municipality has worked to keep up with the maintenance of the arena and other sports facilities, the cost of any upgrades and renovations are significant.

Any additional funding for the arena would be a benefit.

Throughout the fall, winter and spring, the arena has a busy schedule as it is used by minor hockey teams, recreational teams, the Summerland Steam, figure skating and more.

In summer, the arena is used by summer hockey camps, drawing many aspiring players to the community.

Some players who have come up through minor hockey teams in Summerland have gone on to play in the National Hockey League.

Summerland’s hockey tradition is strong and deserves to be celebrated.

And as the Summerland Steam prepare for playoff action in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, a ranking among this year’s Hockeyville finalists would help to reinforce our love of the game.