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Natonal U18 womens’ championship pursued

Strathcona Gardens is working with five other Vancouver Island communities on a bid to host the National Women’s Under 18 hockey championships in 2016.

The tournament, sanctioned by Hockey Canada, involves eight regional and provincial teams in an 18-game tournament.

Campbell River would host two of the games with the rest spread out between the Cowichan Valley, Courtenay, Nanaimo, Parksville, and Port Alberni.

A planning committee, which is working on the bid, is looking for financial support from the Strathcona Gardens Commission which operates the recreation complex.

The committee wants each community to pitch in a grant of $2,500 for each game hosted as well as a guarantee against an event operating deficit of up to $1,500 per game.

“The Vancouver Island Sport Tourism council therefore requests the Strathcona Gardens Commission contribute a $5,000 grant, and an event guarantee up to $3,000, for a bid for the 2016 Female Under 18 National Hockey Championship,” wrote Strathcona Gardens staff Yves Bienvenu and Susan Bullock in a joint letter to the commission.

The Vancouver Island Sport Tourism Council, which is working on the tournament bid, was created three years ago in recognition that smaller mid-Vancouver Island communities may have a hard time attracting national or international events on their own, but may be more successful as a group of communities.

Bienvenu and Bullock said that the council has met with national sporting organizations over the course of two years to determine which event would be most suitable for the mid Island.

“The council has determined that a bid for the Female Under 18 National Hockey Championships is a great opportunity for mid Vancouver Island communities,” Bienvenu and Bullock wrote. “The event features 18 games over five days, with the gold medal game televised on TSN.

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