Hockey Canada Network |
News
More Than a Game
Brett Browne – Camrose Booster
|
WJA.013.08
|
November 3, 2008
|
|

Camrose Sport Development Society helps grow local sports.

When a visionary group of Camrose businessmen and community members gathered more than a decade ago to explore ways to bring Junior A hockey to Camrose, a broader vision emerged which is now paying dividends in a big way.

The Camrose Sport Development Society was originally formed out of a group gathered together by Viking Cup founder LeRoy Johnson. Its objective at the time was to purchase the struggling Sherwood Park Crusaders franchise and move it to Camrose. That deal eventually fell through, but the group persisted and was ultimately awarded an expansion franchise by the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL).

In the end, a group of 25 investors came forward and the highly successful Camrose Kodiaks franchise was born.

However, from the very beginning the Camrose Sport Development Society felt it could be more than just the owner of a hockey club. Consequently, when the constitution of the group was drawn up by Verlyn Olson, its first president, the purpose was to help support and develop all sports in Camrose, not just hockey.

"It was felt that we could be more than just a group to bring Junior A hockey here, we could be a group that would promote sport, whatever the needs might be," explains Johnson, one of the group’s founders.

Of course, the Society's first project was the establishment of the Camrose Kodiaks. The team took to the ice for the first time in the fall of 1997 and though it struggled through its first few seasons, the building blocks were put in place to create the most successful Junior A franchise in Canada.

The Kodiaks won their first AJHL championship in 2001. They followed that up with a victory at the Doyle Cup (B.C.-Alberta championship) and earned their only national championship at the 2001 Royal Bank Cup. Since then the Kodiaks have added four more AJHL and Doyle Cup titles along with three silver medals at the National Junior A Championship.

Over the years the Kodiaks have also built a large fan base not only in Camrose but throughout central Alberta. They have become substantial contributors to the community, supporting local charities, youth programs and local hockey teams. And, their success was one of the factors which helped spark the development of the new Edgeworth Centre.

"Having the Kodiaks I think was a bit of a catalyst to get the facility here, which I think is going to help us long term," states World Junior A Challenge co-chair and Camrose Sport Development Society member Kevin Gurr.

With the Kodiaks now successfully established, the Camrose Sport Development Society has been able to begin to explore ways to support its broader mandate. It played a critical role in bringing the World Junior A Challenge to Camrose and the ultimate success of this event will allow the group to expand its support for local sports groups and even individuals.

"We're hoping we can put a sizable amount into the Camrose Sport Development Society coffers and then the community will start to see the Society contribute in an even bigger way," states Gurr, who says the Society would like to focus its efforts on supporting underprivileged youngsters so that they can enjoy the benefits of participating in sport. They also hope to contribute to local teams and sports organizations in a more substantial way.

"We're just on the cusp of being able to do some great things with this," Gurr says.


For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada
403-777-4553
jlarose@hockeycanada.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
klipscombe@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

facebook.com/hockeycanada

twitter.com/hockeycanada

youtube.com/hockeycanadavideos

Videos
Photos
2014 WU18C: CAN 3 - SWE 1
Apr 17, 2014
Virtanen scored twice to lead Canada to the tournament-opening win.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – USA 1
Mar 30, 2014
U18 women win gold.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 1 – RUS 0 (OT)
Mar 29, 2014
Canada edges Russia in overtime.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – CZE 0
Mar 26, 2014
Canadians shut out Czechs.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – FIN 0
Mar 24, 2014
U18 women blank Finland.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – JPN 1
Mar 23, 2014
Canada starts Worlds with win
2014 PARA: CAN 3 – NOR 0 (Bronze)
Mar 15, 2014
Billy Bridges scored a pair of goals to lead Canada to a Paralympic bronze.
2014 PARA: USA 3 – CAN 0 (Semifinal)
Mar 13, 2014
Corbin Watson made seven saves, but Canada will play for Paralympic bronze.
2014 PARA: CAN 1 – CZE 0 (Preliminary)
Mar 11, 2014
Westlake scored the lone goal to help Canada to a perfect preliminary round.
2014 PARA: CAN 4 – NOR 0 (Preliminary)
Mar 09, 2014
Adam Dixon scored twice to lead Canada to its second straight win in Sochi.
2014 PARA: CAN 10 – SWE 1 (Preliminary)
Mar 08, 2014
Gale, Dixon and Rempel had four points each to lead Canada to a win.
2010 OLYW: Flag Raising
Feb 10, 2010
Canada's National Women's Team taking part in the Flag Raising ceremony at the Olympic Village in Vancouver, B.C.
Schedule
Close
Credit  
Close
Photo Credit: