The Lakeland Wolf Pack will face off against their toughest opponents yet this season when they welcome teams from across Saskatchewan to Prince Albert for the 2023 Special Olympics Saskatchewan Floor Hockey Championship.
Teams from Regina, Humboldt, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and Swift Current will all make the trip north, with a chance to represent Saskatchewan at the national championships in Calgary on the line.
“We’re very, very excited,” Wolf Pack head coach Tyler Kowalski said. “The athletes, they’ve been looking forward to this all year and they’re ready to go.”
The Wolf Pack start the tournament on Saturday with a match-up against the Regina Vipers in Pool 1. Even though a berth in a national tournament is on the line, Kowalski said he wants his players to keep it simple and have fun.
“The provincial tournaments, they happen once every four years, so it’s a great opportunity to be a part of it,” he said. “Just take in the moment, have fun, and enjoy yourself.”
Special Olympics Prince Albert received a big boost from a group of local entrepreneurs which allowed them to host this weekend’s tournament. The latest came from Canadian Tire and Malcolm Jenkins, who donated $10,000 to help fund the tournament.
“Having partners like Malcolm and the team at Canadian Tire Prince Albert is vital to being able to generate opportunities for Special Olympics Athletes,” Special Olympics Saskatchewan CEO Faye Matt said. “With their financial support, we are able to ensure the competition is affordable and accessible to all athletes who have worked hard to quality for this championship.”
Kowalski said other local entrepreneurs like the Broda Group and Mona Selanders, also chipped in with donations, allowing teams from across Saskatchewan to make the trip.
Carlton Comprehensive Public High School also donated the use of their gym for the tournament, and local country music star Donny Parenteau has agreed to provide music for their Saturday night dance.
“It’s awesome,” Kowalski said.
The Wolf Pack prepared for this weekend’s tournament with an exhibition game against the Prince Albert U15A Foxes on Wednesday. The Wolf Pack emerged victorious with a 4-3 victory at Riverside School.
For a complete game schedule, visit www.specialolympics.ca/saskatchewan.