Columbia Valley Hockey School thrives



OFF THE ICE  Columbia Valley Hockey School coaches and owners Chris Bruton, Brett Ponich and Kevin Noble had dinner with camp coaches, participants and their parents at the Station Pub in Invermere on July 29th after a long day of skating. Photo by Kevin Nimmock
OFF THE ICE Columbia Valley Hockey School coaches and owners Chris Bruton, Brett Ponich and Kevin Noble had dinner with camp coaches, participants and their parents at the Station Pub in Invermere on July 29th after a long day of skating. Photo by Kevin Nimmock

Aspiring hockey players from across Western Canada have been flowing into Invermere for Columbia Valley Hockey School, which finished its second week today (Friday, August 7th).

The school is owned and coached by Chris Bruton, Brett Ponich and Kevin Noble, all of whom are current professional hockey players in the American Hockey League (AHL) and the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Mr. Bruton said one thing that sets his camp apart is the hands-on approach the owners have taken.

We wanted to be right on the ice, teaching things that we know are valued in the game at this age and beyond, Mr. Bruton said.

As professional hockey players, the owners have many friends in the game who have offered to lend their expertise to the camp. Among them, NHL veterans Adam Cracknell, Mason Raymond and Brennan Evans have appeared as special guests.

IMG_4588web

I know all the owners personally and we are all great friends, Mr. Cracknell said. It is always nice to come out here and see kids who want to play hockey and learn the game.

One hundred and thirty hockey players, some as young as five years old, have registered for the camp. Mr. Bruton said he was thrilled to learn the final week of the camp, which runs from August 10th to 14th, is now fully booked.

Right from the get-go, we had a lot of enthusiasm from the kids, from the instructors and from the parents, Mr. Bruton said. It could not have started any better.

IMG_4626web

When the three owners were granted a two-year lease to run the school, which used to be called Hockey in the Rockies, they wanted to transform it into a destination camp for young hockey players and their families.

We put together a program that we think brings a lot of value to the community and to the kids on the ice, said Mr. Bruton, adding he hopes the hockey school has helped drive customers to local businesses and golf courses. We have tried to create a camp where the kids can have fun and the parents can enjoy the valley.

Mr. Cracknell, who played WHL hockey in Cranbrook with the Kootenay Ice, said a big reason for his interest in the Columbia Valley Hockey School was its location in Invermere.

IMG_4585web

You get to know the people here, Mr. Cracknell said. You can tell the town loves hockey and anytime you can pass along information that you have learned, it is fun.

Going forward, Mr. Bruton said the camp is hoping to expand to hosting 180 attendees next year. He would also like to see more partnerships with local businesses, so that the camp can be fully integrated in the community.

We are bringing our product, our brand and what we believe the game is, Mr. Bruton said. We have really worked hard to make things efficient and run smoothly, and honestly, it has been unbelievable.

Just Posted

Snowfall warning for Kootenay and Paulson passes

Up to 30 cm expected in mountain passes Saturday and Sunday.

RCMP report

Some of the more interesting callouts for Columbia Valley RCMP November 4-10th

Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

This is the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana

Watching our water footprint

Lake Windermere Ambassadors coordinator walks through water footprint

Films celebrate passionate people and places

Get your tickets now for upcoming Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Most Read