For the fifth time in as many years, the Central B.C. Aboriginal Youth Hockey Tournament will be a weekend to remember for hundreds of players, parents, spectators and coaches.
Players spread across multiple teams from around the province and various divisions including initiation/novice, atom, peewee, bantam and midget took part in the event, which began last Friday and wrapped up Sunday at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
A solid contingent of local talent in each division welcomed teams from Good Fish Lake, Alta., Fort St. John, Prince George and Chase for the tournament.
Saturday afternoon an opening ceremony honouring local boy, 15-year-old Nick Paul, who has been battling leukemia for the past two years, was held.
His father, James, gave a heartfelt speech to the crowd about what his son, and their entire family, has been going through.
Nick played in the tournament the very first year it was held, and is an avid hockey fan. He was flown from B.C. Children’s Hospital for the day to take part in the celebration, because he wanted to be there, despite his doctors not wanting him to travel.
“We’re going to fight this to the end,” James said.
“He’s always a young gentleman, a young man, and he’s always got a smile on his face. He’s never given anyone a hard time, at all, ever.”
Sheila Kelalst Booth, president of the Central B.C. Aboriginal Youth Hockey and Sports Association, said the kindness from everyone is greatly appreciated by the Paul family.
“Thank you for all the kind donations for Nick,” she said. “He is now back in hospital receiving treatments for his illness. The kindness from all is appreciated. Since the opening ceremony one of the visiting teams will make a generous donation to the Paul family.”
The tournament itself, she added, was a big success.
“Thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and committee members,” she said.
“The weekend went along very smoothly and we’re grateful for the continued support and are looking forward to next season.”
Teams played a series of round robin games within their respective divisions before battling in the finals on Sunday. Winning teams received Fifth Annual CBCAYHT sweaters, featuring this year’s tournament logo.
The following are the results from the Fifth Annual CBCAYHT:
Novice/Initiation Division: first — Prince George Lil Coyotes; second — Williams Lake Tomahawks.
Atom Division: first — Good Fish lake Selects; second — Adams Lake WinterHawks; third — Williams Lake Warriors.
Peewee Division: first — Chase Warriors; second — Young Nations; third — Little Warriors.
Bantam Division: first — CC Raiders; second — Prince George Bantams; third — Stone Road Warriors.
Midget: first — Williams Lake; second — Jr. Weekend Warriors; third — Williams Lake Canucks.