Despite Sun Peaks’ ice rink reopening this winter after a roof was built as part of the Sun Peaks Centre’s construction, the Sun Peaks Hockey League (SPHL) will not be found on the ice each Thursday night this winter.
Last year league organizer Mike Billheimer paused the games for the 2019-20 season as construction on the Sun Peaks Centre was still underway and the rink remained closed to all skaters.
This year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Billheimer decided it wasn’t safe to run.
“We felt that it wasn’t going to be responsible to try to run an activity that would potentially create a hotspot,” he said. “It was going to be an amount of work that is beyond what we had the resources for.”
The rink will still be open for regular skating, with COVID-19 protective measures in place. The outdoor rink in Heffley Creek should also open this winter, weather permitting.
Billheimer is hopeful the break, while not ideal, may allow for another volunteer, or group of volunteers, to take over management of the league.
“I’ve had 10 successful years with the league as organizer and I was able to accomplish everything I really wanted to do in that time,” he said. “But things in my life have changed and the time commitment has become a little bit more strained so I’m hoping somebody out there might have a vision for a new direction for the league in the future and take over the organization of it.”
It’s a change that would allow Billheimer more time on the ice and less time planning.
“Ideally I would like to step back and just be a player for a little while after the years that I’ve put into it already.”To follow SPHL for updates visit their Facebook page here.