By Camille Aubin
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 After a two-year hiatus caused by COVID-19, the Columbia Valley Hockey School (CVHS) will be back this year from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3.

The CVHS was created in 2014 by founders Christopher Bruton, Kevin Noble and Brett Ponich. 

“We were playing professional hockey and were chasing the dreams of playing in the NHL. The opportunity to start a hockey camp presented itself as Kevin and myself had worked the previous owned hockey camp for five years beforehand,” Bruton wrote to the Pioneer in an email. “We had a large attachment to the community and knew that bringing in Brett made the perfect group to put forward an incredible hockey camp experience.”

 As the camp got bigger, the founders understood “how important the atmosphere and balance to skill development and fun was to creating an incredible camp experience for athletes aged (between) five to 16 years old,” expressed Bruton. Adding the founders saw an opportunity “to bring a camp that not only made an incredible hockey experience for the athletes, but to make it a destination camp for families and parents as well.”

 Copper Point Resort, Candian Tire, and Tim Horton’s then became important partners to the growing annual event.

The Columbia Valley hosts more than 250 kids over the course of an entire month during the camp’s peak times.

As with most successful events this summer, things are organized differently than they have in the past, owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “It is running for one week this year and is reaching back into the local community to bring young athletes together,” wrote Bruton.

Bruton had sold his shares of the enterprise a couple of years ago, but he’s now back in the CVHS team alongside Ponich. “ We have a passion and desire to bring back the camp to where it once was. We decided on Tim Green as Kevin’s replacement. Tim has a wealth of experience running hockey camps where he runs and develops athletes full-time out of Camrose, Alberta,” said Bruton.

The new yet old owners bring a wealth of experience in terms of the head instructional team, camp management, and athletic development. “It’s a blend of old and new and a rejuvenated enthusiasm to bring back all the fun and connection the camp brought to the community and its athletes,” concluded Bruton.

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