Behind the Scenes in Richmond
|Tuesday, July 11, 2017|
It is official, the CARHA Hockey World Cup (CHWC) is coming to Richmond, BC in 2020. After another successful CHWC in Windsor, CARHA Hockey is excited to head to Western Canada. Even though the tournament isn’t for another two and a half years, preparation is already under way and Pam Lacroix, Richmond’s Sport Hosting coordinator, says, “I’m excited to welcome the world to Richmond”. Here is the inside scoop on the Richmond bid.
Richmond, BC is a town just outside of Vancouver. It is a quick 20 minute trip on the Sky train to downtown Vancouver and a scenic two hour drive up to the Rocky Mountains of Whistler. Surrounding Richmond is the beautiful little fishing neighborhood of Steveston, where you can go whale watching and do other neat water activities. Not far from Richmond is also the River Rock Casino, where there are often shows and events going on. Richmond is known for their bar scene and good food, not to mention karaoke is very popular there as well. As long as you take advantage of everything Richmond has to offer, it can be assured you will be entertained on your days off away from the rink.
Richmond is a sports enthusiast city. They have a tremendous amount of experience when it comes to hosting international events as they host them yearly such as the Richmond International Hockey Tournament. The multi-sport facility, the Richmond Oval makes it possible for events such as the CHWC to be held in Richmond. The entire city is involved in hosting this event. Everyone from the Richmond Oval, hotels, bars, restaurants, and Richmond tourism is on board. Lacroix states, “The entire city jumped when they got the news that they won as Host City for the CARHA Hockey World Cup”.
Before winning the bid, Richmond sent representatives to previous CARHA Hockey World Cup events. In 2016 they sent Tanya Foley, Formerly Manager at Richmond Sport Hosting and Andy Lee, Sales Manager for the Sheraton Vancouver Airport to get a feel for what the CHWC is all about in its entirety. Foley was rather amazed by the event, she said, “Seeing it in person makes it a reality and not all staged in pictures. It is as good as it looks and sounds”. The Richmond representative did not want to infer or make assumptions about the CHWC rather she wanted to understand it at large. Thanks to her visit to the previous CHWC she was able to share her feedback with the city of Richmond and is able to answer the many questions that come her way, so the event can run as smooth as possible.
Lee stated, “We wanted to taste it, sleep it, breathe it,” so they could see what makes the event successful. The Richmond staff have the athletes’ best interest in mind and want to shape the event so the athletes will leave with a lasting impression of both the city of Richmond and the event itself. Everything from location of the Athlete’s Village to the activities and live events, the Richmond community is aiming for an environment everyone can enjoy.
In order for an event as big as the CHWC to go on, everyone in the community must buy in. For CARHA Hockey to maintain success with this event they need people past and present to work together. It takes previous experience and Host City knowledge to lead the way for the upcoming years. Events like the CHWC do not happen over-night. It takes long days and months of preparation and planning to ensure the athletes’ experience is as great as possible.