In less than three weeks Moose Jaw will welcome the world, as the World Para Ice Hockey Championship is set to kick off on May 28.
This will mark the first time Canada’s Para Hockey Squad would host a world championship tournament and the first major international para-hockey event since the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010.
Team Canada is set to kick off their tournament on May 29 at 7 p.m. MT against Korea.
This type of event is an undertaking, as it was announced just over six weeks ago that the city and the Moose Jaw Events Centre will play host to eight teams from three different continents.
A lot is to happen in that short span such as upgrading the facility's accessibility features, reworking the ice surface, and installing see-through boards to name a few.
Another task is getting together enough volunteers to help with the overall function of the event.
Heather Eby has been tasked with this for the championship event, as she is the volunteer coordinator.
“It’s going quite well. We’re looking at needing approximately 110 volunteers in total and we’re still short about 25 or so,” says Eby.
Though they are only about 25 volunteers short of their goal they are still in need of some people in key positions.
“One is a few off-ice officials, which would be scoresheet minders, timekeepers, and people to run the penalty box. We require them to have a hockey background and have hockey experience.”
Another area where they need volunteers is team hosts. A host will be assigned to a team and will be responsible for that country for the length of the tournament.
“Helping them navigate the community, making sure they have everything that they need, and helping them with whatever they might require. Team hosts can embed as much as they want with the team or not so much, depending on their time availability and the team. I think it would be a great experience to be a part of a team like that and be their fan base.”
Currently, several countries are in need of a team host.
Eby says that there has been volunteer interest since the announcement was made on Mar. 27.
“People just wanted to get their names on the list. We didn’t have anything ready at that point because it’s been a short runway up to the event.”
Those that are interested in volunteering their time to the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship can text Eby at 306-681-9412 or contact the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
The preliminary-round schedule is highlighted by the first game of the tournament between Czechia and Korea at 11 a.m. MT.
All 20 games, including the gold medal game on June 4 at 7 p.m. MT, will be played at Moose Jaw Events Centre.
Tickets for the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship are up for grabs to the public at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets, starting as low as $15.