Woolwich is crazy about hockey.
There’s no question about that. Already in the running for Kraft Hockeyville – the winner of which will be announced today (Saturday) on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada – the township was also recently shortlisted for the Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s (OMHA) Top Ten Hometown Hockey Spirit finalist awards. The province-wide contest forms part of the organization’s 75th anniversary celebrations.
“I’m thrilled,” said Woolwich Minor Hockey’s Karen Pogue this week. “I think it’s great considering all the passion and effort that’s gone into Hockeyville – I think that just really extends our passion and spirit that much more and I thought it was a great opportunity to showcase it through this other contest.”
Pogue submitted a bid for the Ontario-wide competition with an entry that included stories and photographs emphasizing the community’s love for the game.
Woolwich certainly had its work cut out, competing against some other very worthy communities.
“I think you could look across the country and you could probably find a similar passion in other communities but this community really seemed to rally together and it really showcased their community spirit – it was their hockey spirit that really created this hockey community that really stood out,” said Pogue.
Woolwich is on the final list of hockey associations which also includes Ajax, Bancroft, Barrie, Caledonia, East Gwillimbury, Hanover, Oakville, TNT, and Windsor. Finalists were judged according to a number of criteria including: demonstration of hometown hockey spirit, sportsmanship and how they celebrated the OMHA’s 75th anniversary.
“Woolwich displayed a lot of creativity, energy and enthusiasm for hockey spirit and were very creative in their submission and very proud to be a great hockey town,” said Kevin Boston, director of marketing and events for the OMHA, recalling a submission with “interesting” photographs.
The competition will notify winners by May 1. The grand prize includes $7,500 in credits toward OMHA programming, a barbeque for 5,000 people and up to 500 passes to the Hockey Hall of Fame, among other offerings.