Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
January 23, 2013, Saanich, BC (ISN) – With the snip of a ribbon, Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard officially opened a new, dedicated dressing room facility for the Saanich Junior Braves hockey club at Pearkes Arena on Tuesday afternoon.
Now in their 45th year of operation, the Junior Braves finally have a change room that they can call their own within the Pearkes complex and it is a pretty spiffy one at that. Modeled after similar rooms found in NHL and WHL arenas, it is safe to say that the Junior Braves now boast one of the nicest, if not the nicest, change room in all of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard cuts the ribbon to open the Saanich Braves new change room at Pearkes Arena. Also pictured are (left to right), Max Mois (Brave Player), Brian Harrison (BC Hockey Rep), Mayor Leonard, Bowman Rutledge (Brave Player), Norm Kelly (Owner), Greg Batters (VIJHL President) and Clayton Postings (Pearkes Arena Manager)(Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
With individual, custom wood-worked stalls for each player that include ventilated storage compartments in the benches, the Brave’s players now have a spot for all their gear and a place where they can leave gear to air out after games.
The room also includes a state-of-the-art video system with a large screen TV that allows coaches to review video between periods or during off-ice sessions. Soft, rubber matted floors are safe for skates and provide cushioning and warmth to bare or socked feet while the players are changing, and a custom made stick rack can be wheeled in and out of the room as needed for games. Braves logos and motivational sayings also adorn the walls.
Brave’s owner Norm Kelly was on hand to introduce Mayor Leonard and went out of his way to thank the various sponsors and tradespeople who made his, co-owner Ed Geric’s and Head Coach Brad Cook’s vision come to life. This included Slegg Lumber, OG Painting, Pacific Coast Flooring, Pro-Stick and Insight Home Audio Solutions.
Coach Brad Cook (left) and team Owner Norm Kelly (right) are thrilled with their new room (Photo: Christian J. Stewart /Island Sports News)
Kelly also thanked representatives from the Municipality of Saanich, notably Pearkes Manager Clayton Postings and staff Kelli-Anne Armstrong and Doug Henderson, who were involved in the planning, permitting and approval process.
Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard was impressed with the new facility, ” I am proud of the way that Norm and his team, and the corporate sponsors, as well as our Parks and Recreation staff have worked together to make a project like this happen and for the community spirit and involvement they have provided for over 45 years. This is a great example of a project that can be done through community partnership without the need to elevate issues to council or to the mayor. In fact I had no clue it was even happening! I applaud Norm and the Braves for that.”
The Saanich Jr. Braves New Change Room (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)