The Northern View’s 2019 Sports in Review: July - December

The Northern View’s 2019 Sports in Review: July - December

Prince Rupert 2019: Sports part 2

The Northern View’s 2019 Sports in Review: July-December

PART 1: Prince Rupert 2019 Sports in Review, January – June


The Prince Rupert Seamen and Rainmakers gathered at the Wheelhouse on Thursday night excited to watch a pre-recorded game of Canada and Italy facing off in the World Cup as part of their fundraising initiative. The goal is to raise money for the Rainmakers upcoming season and bond with the community over the big league rugby. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Rugby Rainmakers

The Charles Hays rugby teams held their year-end awards ceremony to recognize the impressive achievements the squad made during the past year. This was highlighted by a dominant stretch in May where the senior squad followed up a 68-0 win against Terrace with a 35-20 defeat of Caledonia Secondary. The juniors won their encounters with the two opposing schools as well, and often take part in the senior games after their matches are complete. There was more good news for Prince Rupert rugby, as the FISU Rugby Sevens tournament that took place in Italy featured Rupertite Crosby Stewart on the squad. He started all three games for the Canadian national team.

READ AND WATCH MORE: Rainmakers to Ringmakers: Prince Rupert athletes celebrate provincial basketball victory

Provincial softball return

Prince Rupert softball players left their mark at the U-16 C Girls Provincials, ending the city’s lengthy drought at the tournament. Six athletes were part of the Northwest Stealers squad, which also included girls from Terrace and Kitimat. Together they were able to put together a combined team to finally ensure the region had its own representation at the competition in Quesnel.

READ MORE: Provincial stage for Prince Rupert athletes

Age is just a number

Three golfers at the Prince Rupert Golf Club, Iain Cullen, Ian Walker and John Rogers, have shot their age, an impressive feat in the golfing world where a player’s total score equals or is less than the total number of years they have been on the planet. To even attempt the accomplishment means one has to have been golfing at a high level for a long time, making the fact three players from Prince Rupert have done it now this year in quick succession all the more impressive.

READ MORE: MVP of the Week, Iain Cullen: Shooting your age is just a number

Sports Bra Squad Day

Prince Rupert’s female runners were full of support — and so were their bras — as they ran Butze Rapids Trails for Global Sports Bra Squad Day. The event, which was held on Saturday, July 13, this year, is meant to encourage the idea that strong bodies come in all shape and sizes, said Jamie Komadina, organizer of the run. “We are awesome A-F,” Komadina roared as 13 other women and one toddler repeated in unison. Global Sports Bra Squad Day was initiated by Kelly Roberts, a popular fitness blogger who started running to overcome the grief of losing her brother.

READ MORE: Global Sports Bra Squad Day in Rupert

Fireman’s scramble

The scramble was on for charity on Saturday as over 100 participants took to the Prince Rupert golf course for the seventh annual Firemen’s Scramble. The event is held to benefit the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund. The charity plays an important role in burn safety in B.C. and the Yukon, providing aid to burn survivors and educating people on burn safety and awareness. This year’s turnout shattered previous records, with 26 teams registering for a total of 104 golfers. The previous high had been set last year with 14 teams of four. More than $7,000 was raised when all the totals were in.

READ AND WATCH MORE: Record haul at Firemen’s Scramble

Fudger heads to BCHL

Two years ago he packed his bags for Prince George to take the next step in his hockey career. Now, an even bigger leap awaits as Prince Rupert’s own Brett Fudger prepares to head south after signing with the Vernon Vipers of the B.C. Hockey League.

“I went to their spring camp tryouts and I put on a good performance there,” Fudger said of the path that will land him at his new destination in southern B.C.“After camp and exit interviews they talked with me and told me they want me to commit for the next season and play with them.”

The 17 year old was a point per game player with the Cariboo Cougars of the B.C. Major Midget League (BCMML) last season, scoring 40 points in 39 games. This was good for third overall on the team.

READ MORE: Junior A hockey on the horizon for Prince Rupert player


Coach Steve Latham teaches a class of 9-15 year olds at the GoalGetters soccer camp in July 2019. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Blazing a trail

Prince Rupert’s trails set the scene for the first ever Kaien Trails TrailBlazer Run on Aug. 24. Dozens of racers took part in the 5K and 10K races, which followed several of the town’s trails and most popular running spots. There was also a 1K kids run. Despite the day getting off to a wet start, the rain subsided for most of the actual race period.

“This year we wanted to try something new and more community oriented that focused on the rehabilitation of the Rushbrook Trail,” Sean Carlson, president of Kaien Trails, said.

In past years, the organization had held an annual run up Mt. Hays, known as the Quickclimb. “Our society is focused on building a connected network that is accessible for people with unique mobilities, and that is bike friendly,” Carlson said of the group’s future plans to link trails throughout the city.

“We really wanted to bring awareness to the trails of Prince Rupert and give the community an opportunity to see that in a safe way,” Carlson added on the impetus to hold a race this year.

All of the races started and ended in Seal Cove. The 5K runners went to the other end of the Rushbrook Trail and back, while 10K runners continued on to the McClymont Park Trail before heading to Waterfront Park. They then followed the waterfront before returning to Rushbrook Trail to reach the finish line.

READ AND WATCH MORE: Rupert runners blaze a trail at inaugural run


More than 100 golfers helped push the Firemen’s Scramble to new heights this year. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

New gymnastics coach

Erin Hipkiss is the new head coach of the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Club. Starting this year though she will leave her own mark, with her own coaching style, on the competitive team. “I fell in love with this facility,” Hipkiss said when she first saw the club. Secluded in the back of the museum, the gym’s architecture and view of the water make it a picturesque training area. “There’s something super special about the kids up here,” Hipkiss added. “When I got offered to come up here again and possibly take the job, it was definitely intriguing. I’m glad I took the job, and I’m looking forward to this season.”

READ MORE: MVP of the Week: All-around the apparatus —and the province

The Northern View’s Inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby

More than $10,000 was netted for North Coast Community Services at the inaugural Northern View Tyee Fishing Derby.

In all, 240 tickets were bought by those hoping to bring home the top fish – and support a worthy cause. “I was amazed at how much support we had from our community,” Sherry Beal, executive director at North Coast Community Services (NCCS), said.

“From the sponsors to the people who participated in the actual event, it was very successful, and we all came away really happy.” Beal and the NCCS will be putting the proceeds from the event toward their goal of building a new child care development centre in Prince Rupert. With the success of the first derby in the books, she believes this could be a reality in the next few years.

READ AND WATCH MORE: Recap of The Northern View’s inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby

READ MORE: Winners of The Northern View’s inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby

The Northern View Cannery Road Race

The sun shone bright on participants in The Northern View Cannery Road Race on Saturday, as approximately 200 runners showed up to take part in the event. The winding and rising roads of Port Edward served as the setting for the 14th annual run, hosted by Rupert Runners. The racers set off from the North Pacific Cannery in pursuit of 5K, 10K and half-marathon distances. A 1K kids run was also available, drawing dozens of enthusiastic young runners. Despite a downpour on Friday, skies were sunny on Saturday morning as the half-marathoners got the action started at 10 a.m. Twenty-one kilometres lay ahead of them, and just shy of 90 minutes from the start time it was Prince Rupert’s Richard Elkington who first returned to the cannery in a time of 1:28:52.

VIDEO AND PHOTO RECAP: The Northern View Cannery Road Race 2019

READ MORE: Rupert sees its runners bolt to top times at The Northern View Cannery Road Race

Big turnout for Terry Fox Run

The annual Terry Fox Run set off as Prince Rupert got together to once again celebrate the legacy of the Canadian hero.

“We have beautiful sunshine, there’s a beautiful spirit and energy,” Stefan Delloch, branch manager at Northern Savings Credit Union, said. “The runners had a great time, the volunteers had a great time.”

Prince Rupert saw 128 runners register to take part, up from last year. $27,346 was raised for the foundation’s efforts. People ran, walked or biked either a three or seven km course, beginning and ending at the Northern Savings Credit Union.

READ AND WATCH MORE: Terry Fox’s spirit alive and well in Prince Rupert

Power Couple

The Holkestads are once again on top of the Prince Rupert golf world, as the formidable husband and wife duo of Brian and Rose shot their way to Seniors’ Open titles at the Prince Rupert Golf Course. The pair had each won their respective titles in 2018 as well, and wasted no time in this year’s event going about their business. Rose Holkestad birdied the second hole on Saturday and didn’t look back as she led with a low gross of 12-over-par 82 after the opening day.

READ MORE: Holkestads win His and Hers tournament

ILWU Golf Scramble big boost for Cancer Care Unit

As they in 2018, the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 505 and the North Coast Health Improvement Society (NCHIS) teamed up to put on a charity golf scramble.

Featuring 100 golfers, a picnic lunch and closing banquet dinner also accompanied the day. This year’s event was a great success, with $20,000 raised for donation when all was said and done. The funds are set to go to the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital’s cancer care unit, which is in need of substantial upgrades and renovations.

READ MORE: ILWU charity golf day brings in big money for local hospital


Charles Hays wrestling team head coach Dane Waldal demonstrates a take-down technique on the school’s new wrestling mats. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Rupert athletes popular on the podium at 55+ Games

Ann Marie Vandermeer may just be Prince Rupert’s 55+ answer to Katie Ledecky. Ledecky, a current world record holder, has won five Olympic gold medals in the pool. Vandermeer picked up five gold medals of her own at the 55+ B.C. Games in the pool in Kelowna. In addition to Vandermeer’s five gold and a silver, Rupert athletes also picked up four more silvers and seven bronze.

Curling closed

A need to upgrade their facilities means that the Prince Rupert Curling Club will not be able to offer playing services this season. The club is expected to be closed until at least next September while they get up to code. The club currently operates an ammonia based plant, however regulations surrounding operation of this type of plant were stressed after three people died following an ammonia leak at a Fernie hockey arena in 2017. For Curling Club president Natasha Lebedick, the mounting costs surrounded with bringing their ammonia plant up to speed simply became too much to bear. Lebedick and the club’s board have therefore turned their attention for the next year to fundraising for a new non-ammonia based plant.

READ MORE: This House will be closed for the season

Charles Hays Champs of Cross Country

The Charles Hays Secondary junior boys faced off against six schools in the Northwest and came out the reigning champs of cross country. The junior boys won the banner for the team event, having the most runners with the lowest times. Daylyn Moraes was the only CHSS senior represented at the event along with his seven junior team mates. The team qualified for provincials in Abbottsford, and six of the boys also qualified as individuals

READ MORE: Charles Hays boys are kings of the Northwest cross country zones

READ MORE: Cross country runners advance to Provincials

Sustained swimming success

The Prince Rupert Amateur Swim Club dove head first into their regional swim meet and surfaced as the champions. With a team score of 1055. The regional meet was held in Prince Rupert, with the home club being represented by more than 50 athletes. Chris Street, head coach of PRASC, said Prince Rupert’s score is at the high end of what any of the Northwest regional clubs usually achieve in their meets.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert swimmers come out champions in regional swim meet

Premier’s Award for Samantha Wiley

Prince Rupert’s Samantha Wiley has received the Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport for her outstanding efforts across multiple fields of play. Wiley, 15, was recognized at a ceremony in Hazelton by the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I-SPARC) for her play on the hockey rink and the fastpitch field. She has built up an impressive resume on the ice, last year being selected to travel to Toronto to play in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Girls’ Global Game. Earlier this year, the Haida athlete earned her way onto Team B.C. for the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

READ MORE: Premier’s Award for Prince Rupert athlete


Ballet Kelowna graced the stage of Prince Rupert last week with nine ballerinas danced at the Lestre Centre, performing Mambo and Other Works. Kurt Werner and Desiee, Bortolussi performed a solo duet during the first act, mimicking the quiet desolation of winter. The rest of the pieces took the audience through the remaining seasons and ended on an up beat inspiring note with the mambo. Visit for our video. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Rec League final

The Oceanside Sports Lightning are Prince Rupert Recreation League champions following a thorough 5-1 defeat of the Wheelhouse Whalers.

“We went into the tournament pretty confident, we knew we had a strong team,” Santurbano said after the final. “We went out there and played our game, pucks in deep, pucks on net, and it went our way.” Santurbano gave a shoutout to teammate Ranveer Minhas for his key goal in the final. “He potted that one, and the boys on the bench just got rowdy and we built off it,” Santurbano said.

READ MORE: Lightning bolt to victory in rec league tournament, Peewee Seawolves win pair of games in Vanderhoof

MMA winners

Dan Wong and Inderpal Bagri won gold medals last month at the Western Canadian Martial Arts Championships at BCIT in Burnaby. It was an impressive feat on a major stage, made all the more special due to the circumstances they encountered upon arrival at the event.

“They were going to fight in mixed martial arts, so we had prepared for that,” Kelly McMahon, coach and trainer at North Coast Mixed Martial Arts on Third Ave, said. “But when we got down there, they had cancelled the MMA.”

Despite having to shift gears, Wong into jiu-jitsu and Bagri into kickboxing, both fighters rallied to come out on top.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert fights to the top of the podium

Atoms on top

The Prince Rupert Red Seawolves faced off once more against the Kitimat Orange in the Atom House Tournament, this time bringing home the gold.

“Everyone played really well, worked really hard and I am very proud of them,” Craig Movold, Rupert Red coach, said.

READ MORE: Red brings the gold to Prince Rupert


Kings, but only for a minute.(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Rupert basketball athletes headed to North American Indigenous Games

Prince Rupert’s basketball prowess will be showcased at the North American Indigenous Games next year, with nine athletes set to play a role for Team B.C. The games, which will be held from July 12-19, 2020 in Halifax, held their Phase 2 selection process at the Richmond Olympic Oval from Nov. 15-17. Squads, along with alternates, were finalized for the U14 and U16 male and female teams. The U19 male and female teams are expected to be finalized in the spring. Prince Rupert’s representatives are Nikki Davis, Darren Budskin, Kole Jones, Josh Leighton, Payton Henry, Dannica Budskin, Tyler Jones, Kai Leighton and Caden Pagens.

READ MORE: Team B.C. basketball selections mean plenty of representation for Prince Rupert

Hometown Hockey

Prince Rupert received its place in the national spotlight with the arrival of Hometown Hockey, with reaction largely positive for the efforts of everyone involved and how the city was portrayed to the rest of the country. Rosa Miller, one of the key names on the organizing committee who helped land the event in the first place, said she was thrilled with how the weekend went.

“It was an amazing opportunity to showcase Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert Minor Hockey and all that we have to offer and can be proud of,” Miller said. “Success isn’t by accident but only achievable with very hard work. I feel privileged to be a part of a community where we don’t shy away from that hard work but stare it right in the eye and get it done.”

“Here in Prince Rupert it seems like every layer you peel off there’s more and more, the history of the place itself is so fascinating,” Hometown Hockey co-host Tara Slone said.

“We’re really honoured to come here, we’ve done about 130 of these and some stand out for various reasons, the Pacific northwest is a kaleidoscope for the eyes,” Ron MacLean commented.

READ AND WATCH MORE: The verdict is in: Hometown Hockey priceless exposure for Prince Rupert

Rod and Gun revival

It’s a sure shot for the latest installment of the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund, with $29,500 being contributed to the Prince Rupert Rod and Gun Club. Serious issues had recently befallen the PRRGC, particularly with their clubhouse which was built in 1952.

A major renovation, including a new roof, exterior siding, windows, lighting, insulation, and even a pellet stove, has now made the space energy efficient, and capable of holding functions and gatherings. The Port’s contribution also helped significantly expand the capacity of the club’s rifle range. The overall distance was improved from 100 to 150 metres, while two shooting stations were added so five people can now shoot at one time.

READ MORE: PRPA contributes $29,500 to revitalization of Rod and Gun Club

Rupert gymnast vaults into history

Rupert gymnast Ava Clarance has earned herself a spot at the B.C. Winter Games after an all-around commanding performance at qualifiers in Terrace. Clarance, 14, vaulted, swung, balanced and tumbled her way to victory in the six-girl competition. With the games set to take place in Fort St. John, it means that Clarance will be able to compete in front of her hometown crowd. “I’m really excited,” Clarance said of the opportunity.

“I’m excited for my family and friends to watch me, and just to be able to see everyone again. My old team will be there too.” The event is also a historic one for the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Association, who until now has never had an athlete qualify for the B.C. Games.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert Gymnastics Association sending first ever athlete to B.C. Winter Games

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Year in Review