First Annual Nitro XPress scholarship gala

Scholarship will support East Kootenay girls elite hockey

The Nitro XPress on a training hike to Lakit Lookout this month.

The Nitro XPress on a training hike to Lakit Lookout this month.

The Kimberley Academy’s Nitro Express season is underway, as elite female hockey has arrived in Kimberley. Watch for a home game at the Kimberley Civic Centre on October 8 at 5:45 p.m.

The main reason behind bringing the Academy to Kimberley was to provide an opportunity for East Kootenay girls who want to continue to play high level hockey, to have a team close to home.

And although the Academy has attracted students from Alberta and throughout British Columbia, as well as one from the Netherlands, local girls make up a large portion of the roster.

“In the last three years, 15 girls left the East Kootenay so they could continue to play hockey,” said the Academy’s Brad Park. “We built this program so girls don’t have to play away.”

But hockey, especially as  one rises to the elite levels, is a very expensive pursuit.

In order to provide more opportunity for East Kootenay girls, the Kimberley Academy is building a scholarship program, which will be available to local girls.

To begin building the scholarship fund, the first annual Kimberley Academy scholarship fundraiser evening is being planned for November 16, 2016 at the Kimberley Conference and Athlete Training Centre.

The feature of the night will be a fashion show, with clothing provided by four Kimberley businesses. Nitro Xpress players will be the models and they will be escorted by members of the Kimberley Dynamiters.

“We hope to get a good start on a fund so East Kootenay girls can stay home and play high level hockey,” Park said.

The first scholarship recipient will be announced next April. Watch for tickets to the scholarship fundraiser at local businesses.