They came last year for water polo in a lake, but they returned for the Dungeness crab.
The second annual Sunshine Coast Sockeye Summer Classic Water Polo Festival built on last year’s success by once again bringing back dozens of athletes from the Lower Mainland for two days of games in Trout Lake Aug. 10 and 11.
As the calibre of athletes taking part ranged from intermediate to former national team members, referee Darren Molder stressed to the athletes at the start of Saturday’s game, “This is not a highly competitive tournament, so let’s have fun and play some lake water polo under the sun.”
And that’s what they did.
In Canada, water polo is typically played in heated swimming pools, so it is a novelty to play full games in the Sunshine Coast Sockeye’s home lake.
Five quarters of play on Saturday afternoon prefaced a seafood feast later that evening with more crab and sockeye salmon than could be eaten by a group twice as large. Another game followed on Sunday morning before off-Coast athletes headed back to the ferry, both weary and full.
The summer classic is a fundraiser and promotional vehicle for the launch of the club’s youth water polo program set to begin this fall.
Though the volunteer coaches will hold clinics in both Pender Harbour and Gibsons aquatic centres, the main focus of the program will be on weekly practices held at the Sechelt Aquatic Centre on Sunday afternoons starting Oct. 20.
Because smaller people need smaller caps, balls and nets, the club is indebted to the Sunshine Coast Regional District, District of Sechelt, Town of Gibsons, Rotary Club of Sechelt, Lions Club of Sechelt and Sunshine Coast Credit Union for providing funding to purchase youth equipment.
For more information or any other enquiry, please contact club president, Brian Lee at 604-883-0770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.