Alex Kurial, sports reporter, The Northern View

Kurial: 2019 Reflections and Thank Yous

Rupert’s sporting community is something truly special

It has been a memorable seven months since I arrived here in Prince Rupert. I’m glad I took a chance and ventured this far north, and I have been quite enamoured with all the town has to offer. For the sake of time I will stick to the sporting realm for this reflection, which started off when I got here in May with a flurry of relays, track and field meets, dance competitions and golf tournaments. From there it was off to summer soccer leagues, rugby scrums, and even some slo-pitch, to name a few.

Come September The Northern View sponsored a pair of events that were particularly fun to cover, the Tyee Fishing Derby and the Cannery Road Race. I learned just how ugly a halibut really is, and discovered some truly inspiring stories as runners crossed the finish line in Port Edward.

Speaking of inspiration, I would like to thank my MVP’s of the Week for taking the time to share their stories with me this year. Each of you was eager to tell your tale, and I gathered a lot from the many different experiences and outlooks I encountered.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert 2019: Sports part 1

Profile pieces are my favourite type of writing since they offer the opportunity to truly get to know a person, and I look forward to meeting the next group of worthy MVP’s in 2020!

There were so many more sports to cover, from gymnastics to swimming to taekwondo to volleyball. I quickly learned that basketball is perhaps the sport here in Rupert, and have been excited to cover games ranging from minor basketball scrimmages to the home opener of the reigning champion senior boys Rainmakers. Having the opportunity to experience my first All Native Tournament is, of course, my anticipated sporting highlight of the new year.

And who could forget hockey. From the minor hockey tournaments, to the Old Chums League, to the Prince Rupert Rampage, I’ve never not enjoyed hanging out at the rink. Hometown Hockey likely tops my highlight list of 2019, not only since it gave me the opportunity to meet some of my idols in both the sports broadcasting and athletic world, but it reinforced my belief that hockey, or any sport with a strong following, can go great lengths in creating a sense of community. This city’s robust participation in the event was no exception.

Finally, I would like to extend a massive thank you to the people of Prince Rupert. When I first came to town, population 12,000, give or take, I was admittedly worried that there might not be enough sports to cover.

Quite the opposite.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert 2019: Sports part 2

This is a city passionate about its athletics, and especially about its young athletes. Every week I receive contributions in the form of story ideas, out of town updates, MVP nominations, photos, reminders of upcoming events, and more. You have all been more than generous with your time, sharing with me the history of sport in Prince Rupert, providing background on a player, team or tournament, or in many cases inviting me to have a go at the sport itself.

I would need many more words to list all of you here, and I apologize for any stories I missed along the way, but please know I am grateful not just for your help in making the sports section of The Northern View possible each week, but also for accepting me and teaching me so much about the Rupert landscape in such a short amount of time. I can’t wait to keep working with the wonderful people I’ve met, and meeting even more of you, next year.

READ MORE KURIAL: COCULLO & KURIAL: Reporters at home with Hometown Hockey

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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