Minor hockey took centre stage Saturday night in Sechelt.
Two Sunshine Coast Midget House squads squared off for the playoff banner in front of a packed, standing-room-only crowd. The game was fantastic - it was a great night to be at the rink. The game showcased the hockey talent we have on the Coast and the parents and coaches who give up so much of their time to support that talent.
Too bad the Lions Gate League, the league our Sunshine Coast teams play in, doesn't seem to recognize that talent and commitment.
Despite the fact that two Coast teams were playing for the playoff banner, officials with the Lions Gate League wanted to play the game in North Vancouver. Had it not been for the team managers, coaches and our local executive pushing for the game to be played here, both teams, including all the parents, friends and supporters, would have been forced on another lengthy road trip. We're sure B.C. Ferries would have loved the business, but does playing this game in North Vancouver make any sense?This "we're better than them" attitude is typical of several of the associations in the Lower Mainland our sports teams on the Coast encounter regularly.
It happens with our high school teams. Several of our basketball and volleyball teams this season played one home game. Some didn't play even once in their own gym. To get in games, players were on a ferry two, sometimes three times a week.
This kind of travel schedule is brutal, especially for young athletes who also have homework to worry about, not to mention sleep so they can be effective in the classroom the next day.
The unfortunate part is teams here on the Coast have no choice. They have to put up with these schedules, so blatantly one-sided, because we don't have the population base or teams to create leagues of our own.
Guess our sports teams will just have to keep winning and beating the Lower Mainland teams before someone down there wises up and realizes we need to be treated fairly.
It's a matter of respect. Respect from the Lower Mainland that our teams can compete and deserve equal games at home and on the road.