Tyne Valley is one step closer to the title of Kraft Hockeyville 2020 following the announcement August 2 that it made the list of top four contenders.
“It’s amazing,” said Adam MacLennan, chair of the Tyne Valley Hockeyville Organization Committee. “We’ve been waiting for this for quite some time, so we’re happy, excited.”
The decision to take part in this year’s Hockeyville came about following a fire in the early morning hours of Dec. 29, 2019 that completely destroyed the Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre.
Once that decision was made, the committee got to work organizing a rally for the community, using the hashtag #RallyForTheValley, which saw 1,000 Islanders descend on the community on Jan. 15 in a show of support.
It’s not just Islanders who have been supporting Tyne Valley’s bid either. When organizers for Sackville, NS, heard about what happened to Tyne Valley’s rink, they withdrew their bid in order to support them instead, with one organizer saying Sackville still has two rinks it can use, and that while one rink needs some upgrades, it’s not near as bad as the shape that Tyne Valley’s is in.
Mr MacLennan said there has been a lot of stress, but also a lot of excitement.
The announcement of who made the top four was supposed to be made in April, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, large gatherings of people couldn’t happen.
“It’s six months of waiting,” said Jeff Noye, mayor of Tyne Valley. “We’re ready to go, we’ve been waiting for a long time for this.”
While Tyne Valley has received funding from both the provincial and federal governments, that money is for capital projects, meaning the building itself. If Tyne Valley wins the $250,000 that comes with the top prize, it could go a long way in terms of purchasing some of the content that was lost in the fire, including the centre’s zamboni, equipment for minor hockey, figure skating, and more.
“We had a lot of great stuff in that rink, the Kent Maynard Trophy, the Kent Maynard jersey that he had in there,” said Mr MacLennan. “You can’t really replace that stuff, but you always have the memories of it, and we’ll represent the new facility well.”
Along with Tyne Valley, the other three communities in the top four are Pense, SK, Saint-Félicien, QB, and Twillingate, NL.