College preparing for provincials

Top teams from around the province will compete for a shot at nationals in two weeks.

Though the Pacwest standings are far from finalized, the College of the Rockies is still preparing to host the provincial championships near the end of February.

The league is still in play, and will be right up to the second weekend of February as teams fight for position in the standings, but the College of the Rockies will be the battleground for the provincial title from Feb. 21-23.

“We have probably the best quality volleyball that Cranbrook has seen in a long time with the top six teams from the men’s and women’s side here participating,” said Cori Andrichuk, the manager of campus life and athletics.

“We’re involving the East Kootenay Volleyball Club in some capacity, whether it’s in a volunteering capacity or doing our three-ball duty.”

The winners for the men and women, get the chance to represent B.C. at the CCAA national championships in Ontario in March.

“In terms of an event, the big focus is on the volleyball play itself,” continued Andrichuk. “Aside from that, it’s just having the athletes here, letting them know that they’re in the East Kootenays and that Cranbrook is home to a number of our current student-athletes and it’s a great place to be.”

The College has hosted the event before back in 2005.

It’s a great opportunity to showcase not just the College, but the city and region as well, added Andrichuk.

“Our recruiting team will have information out for the duration of the tournament about the College of the Rockies and the programs we offer, the benefits of being in a smaller institution,” said Andrichuk, “primarily to showcase the College to our community as well as to those who are coming in to watch outside of our community.”

Andrichuk is also looking at using some student volunteers to tag along with teams to act as a source for insider local information before competition starts.

“We’ll have team hosts for all the teams that are arriving, they’ll be students from the College that will represent the college to the teams that are here so they have an opportunity to get some local knowledge,” Andrichuk said.

“…We’re hoping they get out into the community and we’re trying to put some packages together for them, whether it be bowling or the movies or something like that in-between when they arrive and the time they start to compete.”

Sponsorship and door prizes are a couple things that Andrichuk and tournament organizers are looking to secure before the event begins.

Andrichuk wants to have door prizes and raffles for the quarterfinal, semifinal and final matches for both the men and women.

“We still have sponsorship opportunities available. We’re looking for any type of sponsor,” said Andrichuk. “We have a sponsorship package that’s available from the college. We’re looking at our local community businesses to step in, if they can, with raffle prizes for our audience, whether, it’s a monetary donation, a gift in kind or a service in kind—we are actively seeking any and all kinds of sponsorship so we can make this a real focus of our community.”

Anyone interested in helping out with sponsorship can contact Andrichuk at 250-489-2751 ext. 3201.