Co-ed adult hockey is returning to Sun Peaks this season, with the four-on-four league garnering lots of excitement.
The league will be organized by RPM Hockey, a company that runs hockey leagues and lessons across British Columbia. Craig Millin, director of RPM, said he can already feel the enthusiasm within the community.
“It seems really, really popular,” Millin said.“We’re getting great feedback and people are really excited…We’re communicating quite regularly with all these different people, organizers, businesses that want to get involved.”
Previously, a recreational hockey league ran in Sun Peaks for about 10 years. In 2019 when construction began on the outdoor ice rink, former organizer Mike Billheimer put the league on pause. In 2020, Billheimer decided it was still unsafe to hold the league due to the pandemic and stepped down as the organizer.
This year, members of the community contacted RPM Hockey hoping the company could help start the league up again. Recognizing it was of strong interest, Millin began having conversations with the municipality and Billheimer to see what they could do to bring it back to life.
“We’ve got big shoes to fill,” said Millin. “We’ll step in and pick up where [Billheimer] left off, and see if we can continue to create the league and make it as popular as it’s always been.”
Millin said they plan to run the league similarly to how it was run in the past, only with small tweaks that also work for them as a company.
“We didn’t want to come in and sort of make a whole bunch of changes, you know, without getting to know everybody and getting feedback from everybody,” he said. “I guess the difference for us would be we’re more online. You can visit our website, you can register online.”
Participants can register as an individual or as a team. There are two divisions: the Rusty Blades (beginners) and Mid Ice Crisis (intermediate).
“I’ve been really really pleased with the cross section of people. I mean, for every guy that’s interested in the hockey league, there’s at least one or two girls that are interested,” said Millin. “Some of them are skating instructors and they’ve played junior hockey. They’re all over the map.”
On Dec. 15, 2021, RPM will hold a skills and drills session for anyone who needs help deciding which division they belong in or wants to sharpen their skills before the season starts. Millin said it will also be an opportunity for participants to get to know each other and hear about the rules of the league.
The league will run from Jan. 5 to March 2, 2022 at the Sun Peaks Centre’s outdoor rink. Games will be held every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and each team will play a minimum of eight games.
Teams are limited to 12 members so each player can get enough time on the ice. Participants can register as a team for $1,440 or as an individual for $140. Goaltenders must register as individuals, free of charge, as they will be shared by the whole league.
To register, visit rpmhockey.com. All participants must show proof of double vaccination.