Sports Briefs 

Skiers start season in Chile

Women’s hockey draft next week

The Whistler Women’s Hockey League is getting ready to drop the puck for the season, and all six teams are looking for new players.

There will be a league draft on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m., at Meadow Park Arena. Come dressed to play and scrimmage, with skates, full protective gear and sticks. The cost is $10 to cover the ice time.

"All the teams are drafting this year, and we need lots of players and goalies," said league coordinator Christine Kenny. "We’re mostly looking for players with some experience. Never-evers are welcome to come out but they have to be committed to put in the time before the seasons starts, go to drop-in and things like that. The level of the league is definitely well above beginner level now and it’s pretty fast."

The first part of the draft will consist of a few drills, followed by a scrimmage to 9:15 p.m. where the teams can watch skaters in action. Players will be contacted if they are drafted.

Players must pre register if they want to be part of the draft. To get your name on the list contact Christine Kenny at chris27@hotmail.com or 604-935-3145.

Pemberton man closer to meeting the Great One

The golden rule of winning a lottery is that you have to "play to win", which also happens to be Wayne Gretzky’s strategy through his legendary hockey career. Both come in to play in the "Win a Great Day with Gretzky" instant win lottery, and Pemberton’s Murray Field is one of a handful of people who will have a chance to meet the player everyone knows as the Great One.

Field, a hockey player and fan, says his wife bought him the ticket. Once the remaining 13 other Gretzky tickets are found he will be put in a draw. There will be six winners, who also receive $2,010 in cash as well as signed Gretzky memorabilia.

The lottery is part of the B.C. Lottery Corporations SportsFunder series, which raises money for athletes and participation programs like Kidsport through different lotteries. The "Win a Great Day with Gretzky" tickets are $5, with prizes ranging from $99,000 in cash to a chance to meet Gretzky himself.

"My wife bought me the ticket and when I saw that it was a winner I was totally pumped," said Field. "I’m very involved in hockey, as both a ref and a player, and I’m thrilled to get a chance to meet Gretzky."

Local riders featured in Sandbox premiere

In Whistler the first sign that winter is right around the corner is not the sight of snow in the high alpine, but the influx of new movie premieres in the valley. This year the Whistler-based Sandbox team and Kevin Sansalone are first to the draw, releasing Flavor Country. The movie was shot using all 16 mm film, and includes scenes of more than 20 riders in all kinds of terrain, from backcountry to urban rails to terrain parks.

The premiere is on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at Millennium Place, with shows at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. all tickets are $8. The premiere will be followed by an after-party at Garfinkel’s. You can get tickets in advance at Ticketmaster, or at the door if any are available.

Climbers Festival returns to Squamish

Widely renowned as one of the top climbing spots in all of North America, Squamish will celebrate its status Sept. 9-10 with the 2006 Squamish Climbers Festival.

Presented by the Access Society and a long list of sponsors the weekend gets underway with Adopt-a-Craig, with volunteers cleaning and improving access in three areas, the Petrifying Wall stairs, the Squaw trail, and Little Smoke Bluffs. Volunteers will need to register and sign a waiver, and come dressed to work outside.

World famous free soloist Michael Reardon will kick off the evening’s entertainment with slides, videos and stories from his climbing adventures, including an unroped solo of 5.12b route Romantic Warrior in Needles, California. The show runs 7 to 9 p.m. at the Brennan Park Leisure Centre auditorium, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for the public and $6 for Adopt-a-Crag volunteers.

From there the party will move to the Squamish Adventure Centre. There will be a DJ, raffle, and cash bar.

Sunday is competition day. Meet at the Adventure Centre at 8:30 a.m. to register and sign waivers, before climbers head out to the rock. There will be points for the hardest bouldering problem, the best classic lead, and the best sport lead. The cost is $4 to take part.

For more information on the weekend visit www.squamishclimberfestival.com.

Skiers start season in Chile

Members of the national and development ski teams took a break from training in South America to take part in a FIS South American Cup race on Tuesday.

The format was a downhill, and Quebec’s Genevieve Simard took the win, followed by Ontario’s Kelly VanderBeek and Whistler’s Britt Janyk. Two other Canadians cracked the top-10, with Invermere’s Christina Lustenberger and Calgary’s Sherry Lawrence fifth and eighth respectively out of a field of 29 athletes that included members of European and American teams.

"These races are a significant evaluation tool for the CAST coaching staff, allowing them to evaluate the athletes’ motor and technical skills under race conditions," said Canadian Alpine Ski Team manager Robert Rouselle.

The World Cup season gets underway on Oct. 29 at Soelden, Austria.

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