Sidney hockey player switches gears this summer, representing Canada in ball hockey – Victoria News

When Sidney’s Jackson Day was looking for a sport to keep his skills sharp during hockey’s off-season, his mother Christy Sklapsky pointed him towards ball hockey as a potential alternative to lacrosse, which he had played in the past.

He tried and almost five years later he will play for Canada’s U-16 men’s team at the 2022 International Ball Hockey Federation World Ball Hockey Championships in Zilina, Slovakia from June 29 to July 3.

Day, 15, made the team after an invitation-only tryout last November in Vancouver.

“I was actually at school and got an email over lunch,” the Stelly high school student said when asked how he found out. “I was obviously very excited to hear about it.”

The Peninsula Eagles minor hockey player, whose family roots in Sidney go back seven decades, is one of two players from Greater Victoria and seven from British Columbia on the 22-player roster. To help build team chemistry, the group will arrive early at the tournament site in Slovakia – via Austria – for a multi-day training camp. The competition itself features a round robin game followed by a playoff.

“Hopefully I can keep up with the players and help the team,” Day said of his personal expectations. “I really hope to bring home a medal. I would like to do well in the tournament.

His commitment to the sport in general and this competition in particular manifests itself in other ways.

Day is paying for her share of the trip — around $4,000 — entirely out of pocket through a part-time job at the Save-on-Foods store in Sidney.

Playing ball hockey in the summer has allowed Day to maintain his cardiovascular fitness and hand-eye coordination, which translates to better puck control and endurance on the ice, two things he hopes to pass on. his game to the next level. With two years left in minor hockey, his goal is to make the leap to the junior level, with a view to playing college or university hockey.

“He does a great job of balancing his commitments,” said Sklapsky, who will travel with her husband to Slovakia to watch Day play. “He likes the game, so it’s not that difficult. He always has a stick in his hands.

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Catherine J. Martinez