A Nova Scotia man who nominated his local arena for the Kraft Hockeyville 2020 national title says he wants to withdraw the nomination in favour of backing Tyne Valley, P.E.I.
“We can wait until next year to try and become Hockeyville,” Jamie Munroe from Lower Sackville, N.S. said Sunday in a Facebook post. “Let’s show the rest of Canada what Maritimers do for Maritimers and what kind of cloth we are cut from here on the East Coast.”
In his post, Munroe said he became aware of how badly Tyne Valley needs a new arena after meeting with a Tyne Valley hockey dad during a recent minor hockey tournament on P.E.I.
That dad, he noted, is also one of the firefighters who had responded to the Christmas week fire that destroyed Tyne Valley’s rink.
“I think Sackville as a community, and the Sackville Flyers, should band together with them and help them fix their rink,” Munroe posted.
Adam MacLennan is chairman of the Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre’s fundraising committee, the group that submitted Tyne Valley’s bid to become Kraft Hockeyville 2020.
He was still soaking up the euphoria around Saturday’s rally that attracted a crowd estimated in excess of 1,000 to support his community’s bid when he was told of Munroe’s post.
“It’s obviously great to hear that,” MacLennan said, admitting that sort of support was unexpected.
MacLennan said he subsequently reached out to Munroe about the gesture.
“He said, ‘Our rink is still there; we can still use it.’”
“People recognize the situation we’re in,” MacLennan said. “That’s the beauty of community, and it showed that on Saturday; you don’t really have to be from Tyne Valley to support us in our Hockeyville bid.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for their support online and at the rally.”
MacLennan said his committee is hoping people near and far will continue to support their bid.
As of Monday afternoon, there were more than 1,400 nominations in support of Tyne Valley’s entry on the community rally page.
He’s hoping that number continues to grow and that it will help propel Tyne Valley to the Top 4 in the competition. Nominations will be accepted until Feb. 9. Judging commences Feb. 10 and the Top 4 will be announced on March 14. The eventual champion, to be declared March 28, will receive $250,000 for arena upgrades.
The fundraising committee will meet this week to discuss other fundraising initiatives for a new arena and to develop further Hockeyville activities.
The Tyne Valley Winter Carnival is also gearing up for early February, and it has set Hockeyville as its theme.