PRINCE GEORGE—$125,000 from the B.C. Government will help ensure that the RBC Royal Bank Cup in Prince George from May 5-13, 2007 is the best-ever event in its 36-year history, announced BC Liberal MLAs Shirley Bond, Pat Bell, and John Rustad.
The funding comes in two parts. $100,000 from gaming revenue is being provided to contribute to the cost of hosting and staging the event. The Ministry of Education is providing $25,000 to support the “Adopt a Team” program organized by students at DP Todd Secondary. “Adopt a Team” will support the government’s ActNow initiative by sending outstanding hockey players to local schools to encourage physical fitness, healthy living and dedication to excellence.
“The Prince George area has a history of community involvement in hockey at all levels and so we are honoured and excited to host this prestigious national championship,” said Prince George-Mount Robson MLA Shirley Bond. “I’d like to congratulate the Adopt a School Leadership team for taking advantage of this event to promote healthy living and physical fitness to younger students.”
"As a result of this funding, we will be able to put together a program where students in our area have the benefit of participating in a cultural exchange. By linking up with participating teams, students will have the opportunity to learn more about other parts of Canada," says Carli Kerr, Leadership student at DP Todd Secondary.
Every year, more than 140 Junior A hockey teams, consisting of more than 2600 young athletes from across the nation vie for the honour of competing in this event. The winners of the Pacific, Western, Central and Eastern regions will join the host team for a week-long round robin tournament to determine the best of the best.
“I’m very excited that such a high-quality tournament is coming to Prince George,” said Prince George-North MLA Pat Bell. “I’m pleased that our government has been able to step up and provide some support to make this event happen. Thanks to this funding, young students will have the opportunity to meet players participating in the Cup and hear about the role that playing sports has had in their lives.”
“Hockey is truly a national game that has a special power to unite Canadians. It’s also a great way to get some exercise and have fun doing it at the same time,” said Prince George-Omineca MLA John Rustad. “I know that the entire community is looking forward to having the opportunity to support our very own Spruce Kings during the national championships.”
The RBC Royal Bank Cup promotes competitive amateur hockey and education and players have an excellent opportunity to showcase their speed, discipline, strength and skills to scouts from American colleges and Canadian Interuniversity Sports. The education component of the Cup includes the annual RBC Financial Group scholarship awards which provide financial assistance to selected players of the CJAHL for post-secondary education. The recipients, one from each of the CJAHL’s ten leagues, receive $1,000 toward post-secondary education, with one national winner receiving $5,000.
"RBC Royal Bank Cup is one of Hockey Canada's premier National Events, so it is great to see the great support being offered by the Province of British Columbia, as they really get behind the National Junior A Championship being held in Prince George this May. It is support like this that will make this event and the legacy it leaves a success story for years to come. Good luck to all the teams across the country in the Canadian Junior A Hockey League as they all begin playoffs and their fight to join your host Spruce Kings in Prince George, BC May 4-14 to compete for the RBC Royal Bank Cup", said Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson.
The event also has tremendous benefits for the community through increased profile and tourism ($1.5 million in economic benefits during the week). It will also be a community celebration featuring activities such as street hockey games for charity, visits to local schools by players to act as “reading buddies”, forums for coaches and minor-hockey skills clinics.
Visit Shirley’s Web site at www.shirleybondmla.bc.ca
Visit Pat’s Web site at www.patbellmla.bc.ca
Visit John’s Web site at www.johnrustadmla.bc.ca
Media contact:>Matthew MacInnis
Government Caucus Communications