Pond Hockey Spirit contest launches

The clock is ticking down to the first B.C. Eastern Regional Pond Hockey Championships in Invermere.

The clock is ticking down to the first B.C. Eastern Regional Pond Hockey Championships in Invermere, and businesses from Radium Hot Springs to Fairmont are being asked to find their hockey spirit.

“We’re just trying to create a real hockey environment in our communities, all the way from Fairmont through to Radium,” says Sean Wall, chair of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce’s pond hockey committee.

“We’ve been so well received by the community and we just want to create a visual for the players that come to town. We want this thing to gather steam and get bigger going into the future and if people feel welcome and they’re treated well within our businesses and it becomes a place they want to come back to, that’s just going to be good for us.”

To sweeten the pot, the group is launching the first Pond Hockey Spirit contest, which runs from now until the championships from February 3 to 5. To enter, businesses in Fairmont, Invermere and Radium need to decorate their windows or set up in-store displays with a hockey theme.

In return, the top business in each community will win a free team registration valued at more than $500 for next year’s tournament. The best decorated business in the valley will also win a trophy.

To be eligible to enter, displays must be up by January 31. Judging will take place the day before the championships kick off, with winners announced at the pond hockey opening ceremonies February 3 at 6 p.m. at Kinsmen Beach.

Wall says judges will be looking for “originality, staff engagement and hockey, hockey, hockey.”

To enter a business, visit the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page, cvchamber.ca, or go to http://ow.ly/8D56n.

Members of the community are also being encouraged to wear hockey jerseys and post pictures of their displays or their own pond hockey weekend fun to the Chamber’s Facebook page.