Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (middle, holding “India” jersey) and six-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser (right) are among those pictured with members of India’s national female hockey team. (Photo: Twitter.com/wick_22)

India’s national female hockey team coming to Surrey ahead of ‘Wickfest’

Exhibtion game against Surrey Falcons squad on Nov. 13

India’s national female hockey team will play a game in Surrey next week, as a preview of the Wickfest tournament coming to the city.

The team, based in the mountainous Ladakh region of the country, will fly in for an exhibition game against a Surrey Falcons squad at Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex, on Tuesday (Nov. 13) starting at 2:30 p.m. The arena is located at 16555 Fraser Hwy., in Fleetwood.

The event is organized by the City of Surrey and officials with the Canadian Tire-sponsored Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival, or WickFest, which will be played in Surrey from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2019.

• RELATED STORY: ‘Wickfest’ hockey festival for women coming to Surrey next winter, from March 2018.

“After years of hard work on and off the ice, and thanks to special invitation from six-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser, the players from Ladakh, India, will arrive in Canada for the first time,” explained a City of Surrey release on Wednesday.

The squad, said to have overcame “strong societal and familial pressures in an effort to grow the game of women’s ice hockey in India,” will compete in the ninth annual WickFest.

“Before heading to Calgary, the team’s first stop is in Surrey, where they will attend a media luncheon and play an exhibition game,” the release states.

Members of the Indian team met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Wickenheiser and other Canadians earlier this year, as part of efforts to grow the game in that area of the world. Photos are featured on the team’s website (india2yyc.com) and Twitter account.

A video of the players in action is posted to the India for Sports account on Youtube.

In March, organizers of Wickfest announced details about the hockey event coming to Surrey, after several years of operation in Calgary.

“The Calgary event currently hosts 120 teams, with more than 200 applying each year for the event. It was time to grow into new markets,” a city-issued press release said at the time.

“The economic impact for the City to host WickFest is significant as approximately $1.25 million will be injected into the local economy in both 2019 and 2020, with a projected impact of $2.8 million annually in the years that follow,” the release stated.

An estimated 50 teams will take part in the hockey festival in Surrey, from as far away as Atlantic Canada and parts of the United States.

The purpose of the tournament is to create an “international summit” of the female game for girls of all ages and skills levels, explained Wickenheiser, a multiple gold-medalist with Canada’s national women’s team.

“Surrey was a natural fit for us,” Wickenheiser stated in March. “The city has great facilities now, and even better ones coming online in the coming years, and it’s a hockey-hungry community in the Lower Mainland. Surrey is a city with vision and a gold medal spirit, so we were naturally drawn to that.”

The tournament includes several off-ice components, including clinics and workshops “that don’t just focus on developing the athlete, but developing the attendees who take part off the ice too,” Wickenheiser added.

More details can be found at wickfest.com.

In a post on the website’s “news” section, Surrey Falcons president Gary Mizuno said the organization is excited to collaborate with the WickFest team and Wickenheiser, “who has been the face of women’s hockey for decades and a remarkable role model for young players from coast-to-coast. This is an incredible opportunity to bring to Surrey one of the premier female hockey events in the world, and to showcase female hockey in the Lower Mainland.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Dr. Lipjob avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

‘The dog picks the job’: Meet the newest member of the Surrey RCMP

Cambria, a labrador-golden retriever mix, is the first victim services dog at the detachment

Cloverdale’s Dan Gibbons remembered for his devotion, humour

Longtime local served with RCMP for more than 35 years

Surrey RCMP say men with gun steal Jeep from mom, daughter

Police say they are looking for video footage, and two South Asian suspects

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Widow’s petition demands mandatory training for truckers

Truck driver Stephen Babij was killed in a head on semi truck collision on Highway 1 in 2017

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

Forestry and legumes shippers say railways prioritized other commodities

Companies say they lost millions on Port of Vancouver shipments

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Most Read

l -->