The Golden Rockets PeeWee hockey team all came out to Town Council two weeks ago to plead their case to host provincials in Golden. Photo Submitted

Council proceeds with PeeWee provincials

Town Council announced at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting that they will be moving forward with bringing the BC PeeWee hockey provincials to Golden.

The decision came at the end of a month long process, which saw the Rockets PeeWee team coach Mike Palumbo speak at Town Council two weeks ago.

“We’ve put a lot of work into it at this point. It’s a bit daunting now because the real work begins,” said Palumbo. “But we’re really excited and have some fundraising planned.”

Now that the Town has given approval for the tournament to move forward, it falls on the Golden Minor Hockey Association (GMHA) to find the funds and the time to plan the tournament in order for it to go off.

The GMHA must cover the funds of keeping the rink open for the duration of the tournament, as well as the volunteer man hours in order to ensure that the tournament runs as smoothly as possible. Palumbo is convinced that this will be just a minor hurdle, and has full confidence that the group of people that have assembled in support of the provincial tournament can pull it off.

“No question, the parent group that we have is extremely not just excited, but capable of this,” said Palumbo. “Sometime you don’t have a parent group that’s capable of pulling anything off, but I’m telling you, moving forward, we’ll be able to make this an incredible event for all of town.”

Palumbo estimates that hosting the PeeWee provincial tournament could bring up to well over $300,000 into the Golden economy.

With between 120 to 180 families coming to stay for almost an entire week, with expenses like hotels and meals, it’s not hard to see how he got to such a high number.

There’s also an intangible factor, where Palumbo figures that the exposure that Golden will get from the tournament will result in people returning months later for family vacations. Since people come from all across the province for this, families who would have never otherwise come to Golden will get a chance to enjoy a week here, and could potentially return if they enjoy their stay, bringing more money into Golden in the future.

“I think the community will benefit from having that many more people around,” said Palumbo. “Once we get this underway and everyone knows that it’s coming, I think everyone will band together and get excited, and we’ll put on a great show.”

As for the team, this will provide them with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a tournament like this. Since Golden is hosting, the local Rockets PeeWee team is granted immediate entrance into the tournament. While some of the players are still too young to understand just how important it is, they’re excited all the same.

“They’re really excited, they’ve never had an experience like this, and may never have one like it again,” said Palumbo. “At the end of the day, I’m sure it’s going to be even better experience than they could even hope to expect.”

The tournament will run mid-March, with the final championship games coming on Sunday, March 15.

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