Walkers vs. Ivan Hoes.psd  HOCKEY HANDOFF  The BC Pond Hockey Championships event that takes place on Lake Windermere each winter is now a Columbia Valley Rockies fundraiser. File photo

Walkers vs. Ivan Hoes.psd HOCKEY HANDOFF The BC Pond Hockey Championships event that takes place on Lake Windermere each winter is now a Columbia Valley Rockies fundraiser. File photo

By Dan Walton

Pioneer Staff

Lake Windermere will serve again as the venue for the fourth annual BC Pond Hockey Championships in Invermere, but this year it will be the Columbia Valley Rockies running the show.

John Reed, a hockey enthusiast from Rossland who got the tournament rolling over the past three years by marketing the tournament throughout Western Canada, has offered the Rockies a new fundraising opportunity by allowing the Rockies to take control of the tournament.

(John) rounded up a lot of teams from all over, and many have already replied that theyre coming back, said event organizer Grant Kelly, owner of Grants Food and a Rockies board member.

Teams will be travelling to the championships from as far as Vancouver and Spokane, and Mr. Kelly said the Rockies have a strong family of volunteers who are ready to make the event happen. The organizers will be building an outdoor atmosphere similar to that of the famous Bonspiel on the Lake, which takes place on the lake one week prior.

Its for anyone who wants to enjoy some hockey in the great outdoors its all about having fun.

Each team will consist of six players, with four battling on the ice and two spares on rotation. There are no goalies, but shooters have to be cautious about raising the puck asthe net is only one foot in height.

Its great to take a chair down, hang out, watch them play, said Mr. Kelly. Its good fun as long as its not too cold.

There will be two divisions each for men and women, as well as a mixed category where teams must have three men and three women with at least two women always on the ice. Some of the younger teams may become a little competitive, but its mostly about getting out there and having fun, Mr. Kelly said.

The tournament runs from January 30th to February 1st, and all participants will be given a ticket to see the Rockies take on the Kimberley Dynamiters at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena on Saturday, January 31st as well as a free burger at the game. The tournament is one of many fundraisers the Rockies are taking on to finance a new team bus. To find out how to register your team, visit the Rockies Facebook page, or call Grant at 250-342-7614 or email gkelly2@telus.net.