PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

A few hundred people witnessed some hockey history in Surrey on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 13).

Spectators gathered at Surrey Sport & Leisure Centre in Fleetwood to watch the women of Team India play in a Canadian rink for the very first time.

The exhibition game, against a Surrey Falcons bantam-division squad, was organized by the City of Surrey and officials with the Canadian Tire-sponsored Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival, or WickFest, as a preview of the inaugural tournament in Surrey, to be played from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2019.

The tourney is hosted by Canadian hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold-medalist who has helped stage a similar event in Calgary over the past decade.

Team India is in Surrey for a few days before travelling to Calgary to play in the ninth-annual Wickfest there.

• RELATED STORY: India’s national female hockey team coming to Surrey ahead of ‘Wickfest’

With donated gear and on-ice clinics to improve their hockey skills, Wickenheiser and others launched a “India2YYC” initiative to help the team make their way to Canada this week.

In Surrey, local residents Neeru Schippel, Julie Sanghera and Bindy Dulay led a fundraising effort to help the team fly and stay here during a “pit stop,” prior to their arrival in Calgary.

In India, the team of women overcame some strong societal and familial pressures in their ambition to play hockey.

 

India’s national women’s hockey team stand for the country’s national anthem prior to a game with the Surrey Falcons at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

The Team India bench during an exhibition game with the Surrey Falcons at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich) The Team India bench during an exhibition game with the Surrey Falcons at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Neeru Schippel (left) and Julie Sanghera, who helped raise money to bring Team India to Surrey, at the podium during a pre-game media event at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Members of Team India pose for a photo during a pre-game media event at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Just Posted

Saanich brings Uptown-Douglas Corridor draft plan to the public

Feedback from residents will help finalize the plan

Truck involved in Malahat crash had no insurance

Driver faces charges of driving without due care and attention, no insurance for Monday’s crash

Rickter Scale: Downtown’s uneasy streets

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

Greater Victoria could see a months worth of rain within a week this fall

Weather Network predicts wet, warm fall season for B.C.

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Break out the tiki torches: Open fires allowed again in B.C.’s coastal region

All open fires allowed effective at noon on Sept. 18

UPDATED: Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Kamloops high school evacuated after receiving threat

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

Most Read