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Wolseley, Sask., looks to the future of its rink after losing bid for Kraft Hockeyville

A small town in Saskatchewan is looking for other ways of fixing its local hockey rink after it was passed over in the finals to host for the Kraft Hockeyville 2024 competition.

With the title no longer up for grabs, Wolseley, Sask., isn’t giving up on its rink. The town is still getting $25,000 in donations, with $10,000 in additional donations for minor hockey league gear. It may not be the same amount the winner of the competition is getting — $250,000 and the opportunity to host an NHL pre-season game, awarded to Elliot Lake in Ontario — but for townsfolk, it’s something.

“I was silent and then I shed a few tears,” said Krista Johnson, who helped the town’s Hockeyville campaign three months ago.

“But it’s not the end of the road. We’ve already started rallying this morning to keep on going and we’re going to get it.”

The iceplant at the Wosleley Sportsplex is in need of a  replacement. It’s currently in the 40th year of its 25-year plan. According to Johnson, replacing it would cost anywhere between $600,000 and $700,000.

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“We’ve raised about $100,000 in the last year. We just have to keep going and we will eventually get there,” she said

One family told Global News they spend four nights a week at the sportsplex, playing hockey and figure skating.

“The kids have been a huge part of this,” said Janelle Bieber, whose children come to the sportsplex. “They’re disappointed we didn’t win because they helped a lot… But they do know that the rink is not closing down because we didn’t win.”

It’s a tough loss, Bieber continued, but she knows the community has to move on, even if winning had meant bringing the Hockeyville title to the province.

Town mayor Gerald Hill said he’s proud of the community, stating that something good came out of the process.

“The advertising and the (notoriety) we got for Kraft Hockeyville, you can’t buy that kind of advertising. It’s put us on the map,” he said. “We were in a David and Goliath situation and that’s okay. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t.”

Nominations for the competition began in January. Other communities in the final-four round included Enderby, B.C., Cochrane, Alta., and the winning community, Elliot Lake, Ont.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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