The Penticton Vees’ hockey past will come alive again in a small way on Sept. 8 at The Penticton Classics 4-on-4 novice tournament.
Players on each of the six teams competing in the day-long event at Memorial Arena will be wearing the different Penticton hockey jerseys dating back to the 1955 world champion Vees men’s team as well as the Penticton junior clubs, the Panthers (1990 to 2004) Broncos (1964 to 1975) Knights (1979 to 1990) and the 2012 Vees who won RBC Cup. The junior team was also the Vees from 1975 to 1979 and the Junior Vees from 1961 to 1963.
“It’s celebrating Penticton’s hockey past and looking forward to the future,” said organizer Paul Parkinson. “It just kind of popped into my head one day, I wanted to do the tournament and I was trying to think of something that would be unique so I emailed the Vees and asked for permission to use the logos which they agreed to. They’re not exact but they’re close.”
The next step was to get the jerseys made for the young players. It’s hoped to make this an annual event for kids coming up through the ranks of the Penticton Minor Hockey Association.
The teams will consist of nine players each aged six to nine years old and squads will be matched to the players’ abilities to keep things competitive.
“We’re going to have a small program, which will outline each team’s history,” said Parkinson. “I think honestly the jerseys are going to be more fun for the parents and grandparents to watch, I mean kids are kids and they’ll put on anything and go play hockey.”
There is even one player on the Panthers squad whose father played on the original Panthers.
“So whereas Mac might not know the significance, I’m sure his dad and mom will appreciate it,” said Parkinson who also credited Christy Forbes, Jen Homer, Cathy Desautels and Rob Sunderland for their help in organizing and planning.
There will be an as-yet-unnamed trophy for the winning team as well as medals and other gifts for the players.
The tournament will also be a fundraiser and it’s hoped to raise $2,000 that will be divided among the School District 67 Parent Advisory Councils.
“Our plan is to do it yearly, and grow the fundraiser,” said Parkinson. “We have a team of great hockey parents who’ve been really helpful and we’ll evaluate everything afterward to see how we can improve and make it a little bigger next year.”
The event will end with a girls-only game featuring novice-to-peewee aged players from 6 to 7 p.m.
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