SPORTS — Third try lucky. After losing out on bids in 1997 and 2013, Kamloops will host the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championships in 2016.
The announcement was made at a media conference in Parkside Lounge on Tuesday morning. Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada and a former head coach of the Kamloops Blazers, called it “a huge feat.”
Eight teams will play 22 games at Interior Savings Centre and McArthur Island Sports and Events Centre in April 2016.
National women’s hockey team star Haley Irwin, visiting Kamloops for the first time, praised the city, saying, “I believe that you guys have what it takes.” She added, “It’s wonderful, it beats Calgary’s weather by far.”
Haley and Renney presented Mayor Peter Milobar with a jersey. Also present at the announcement were event co-chairs Norm Daley and John Pankuch (president of the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association), George Cochrane (Kamloops Minor Hockey head coach), MLAs Todd Stone and Terry Lake, and MP Cathy McLeod.
The city lost out to Ottawa for the event last year, and to Kitchener in 1997. Hamilton was its competition for 2016 after Red Deer dropped out.