Tyne Valley hoping to win Kraft Hockeyville 2020

The community of Tyne Valley is hoping to be crowned winner of Kraft Hockeyville 2020. If they win, the community will receive $250,000, which will go toward fundraising proceeds to build a new rink following a fire that destroyed the Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre in the early morning hours of Dec. 29. 

    Jillian Trainor photo

The community of Tyne Valley have officially entered the race for Kraft Hockeyville 2020.

“We’ve got a younger demographic here that are energized and so involved in making great things happen,” said Adam MacLennan, chair of the fundraising committee for the Tyne Valley rink. “It’s a young group of people that are getting this all geared up and ready to go.”

The decision to enter the annual competition came about after a fire destroyed the Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre on Dec. 29, 2019. The rink was first built in 1964, and was renovated in the late 1990s.

If they win, the community will be the second one in West Prince to do so, after O’Leary won the title in 2017. When O’Leary won, the prize money was $100,000. Since then, the prize money has increased to $250,000. It won’t be enough to build a new arena, but it will be a good start.

Prior to the fire, the rink was approved for a $1 million project to replace the floors at the arena.

To help with the process, the fundraising committee will be meeting with members of the O’Leary Hockeyville Committee.

“It was exciting news that there was another community that would be applying,” said Tammy Rix, a member of the O’Leary Hockeyville Committee. “They reached out to the greater group, the organizing committee, and we are planning to meet with them soon to go over some of the recommendations as far as what we went through.”

Ms Rix said she’s put together a binder with the O’Leary Community Sports Centre’s story, which includes everything they went through and dealt with throughout the competition.

The process of taking part in Hockeyville can be overwhelming, which is part of the reason the O’Leary committee wants to help the Tyne Valley committee.

“I think having that outside person to help them through that and understand what they’re in for, because it was a lot of work,” said Ms Rix. “We want to make sure they go in with their eyes open.”

The nomination phase of Hockeyville is from Jan. 1 to Feb. 9, ending at 11:59 pm. Following that is the judging period from Feb. 10 to March 13, after which the top four communities will be announced and the rallying period begins and will run from March 14 to March 26. Voting begins at 12 pm Eastern Time on March 27, and will go until the following day at 8:30 pm Eastern Time.

Story submissions are encouraged to be original, and are an important part of the judging, accounting for 80 per cent of the overall score. The Rally Score will account for the remaining 20 per cent of the overall score. If there’s a tie, the tied entries will be re-judged by the judging panel against the criteria to select which community becomes one of the four finalists.

Along with the prize money, the winning community will also win the opportunity to host an NHL Pre-Season hockey game. This game will take place in either the winning arena or an alternative arena and will take place at some point between Sept. 1 2020 and Oct. 1, 2020. The winning community will also house the Kraft Hockeyville trophy for one year.

“It’s unfortunate what happened here, but we will be pushing forward with the Kraft Hockeyville nomination, and hopefully people will be generous and support us to make sure we can be successful in it,” said Mr MacLennan. “I think after what happened it’s motivation and drive now to try to accomplish and win it.”

To kick off submissions, a photo event is being organized for the morning of Jan. 11 at 9:30 am. People are invited to come to the sports centre wearing any Tyne Valley minor hockey garb they can, be it jerseys, coats, sweaters, or more.

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