Close to 1,500 female hockey players will be in Surrey this week for the COVID-delayed return of the Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival, better known as Wickfest.
Eighty teams will be in action during the Canadian Tire-sponsored tournament Thursday through Sunday (Feb. 2-5), with games at North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex and Fleetwood’s Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex.
Paused by the pandemic in recent years, the annual event emphasizes competition, empowerment, learning and comradery. Wickfest workshops aim to grow not just the hockey player, but the young woman — on and off the ice. Presenters here for the event include former Olympians Meghan Agosta and Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser, who founded the tournament.
On Saturday (Feb. 4) starting at noon, a sold-out “Fire & Ice Game” charity game at the North Surrey rink will see Canucks alumni players battle Surrey Firefighters. Wickenheiser will referee the game, to raise funds for Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society.
Above all, WickFest is organized to showcase female hockey and encourage more young girls to try the sport.
“We’re looking forward to the largest and most successful event to date” said Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold-medalist and current assistant general manager for Toronto Maple Leafs.
“We’re so thankful to the City of Surrey for providing support and space for our tournament to grow and aid in providing an opportunity for young girls to try a sport they may not otherwise have considered.”
Festival partners include the City of Surrey, Surrey Falcons female hockey association, Discover Surrey and Surrey Hotel and Motel Association.
“Surrey is proud to support and host the premier showcase for female hockey,” Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke stated. “WickFest will bring together teams from across Canada and the United States, and I would like to invite all to come down and cheer on the incredible athletes taking to the ice.”
Visit wickfest.com for ticket and event information. All event profits go to JumpStart and Right to Play.
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