PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

A few hundred people witnessed some hockey history in Surrey on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 13).

Spectators gathered at Surrey Sport & Leisure Centre in Fleetwood to watch the women of Team India play in a Canadian rink for the very first time.

The exhibition game, against a Surrey Falcons bantam-division squad, was organized by the City of Surrey and officials with the Canadian Tire-sponsored Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival, or WickFest, as a preview of the inaugural tournament in Surrey, to be played from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2019.

The tourney is hosted by Canadian hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold-medalist who has helped stage a similar event in Calgary over the past decade.

Team India is in Surrey for a few days before travelling to Calgary to play in the ninth-annual Wickfest there.

• RELATED STORY: India’s national female hockey team coming to Surrey ahead of ‘Wickfest’

With donated gear and on-ice clinics to improve their hockey skills, Wickenheiser and others launched a “India2YYC” initiative to help the team make their way to Canada this week.

In Surrey, local residents Neeru Schippel, Julie Sanghera and Bindy Dulay led a fundraising effort to help the team fly and stay here during a “pit stop,” prior to their arrival in Calgary.

In India, the team of women overcame some strong societal and familial pressures in their ambition to play hockey.

 

India’s national women’s hockey team stand for the country’s national anthem prior to a game with the Surrey Falcons at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

The Team India bench during an exhibition game with the Surrey Falcons at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich) The Team India bench during an exhibition game with the Surrey Falcons at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Neeru Schippel (left) and Julie Sanghera, who helped raise money to bring Team India to Surrey, at the podium during a pre-game media event at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Members of Team India pose for a photo during a pre-game media event at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Just Posted

Ucluelet cancels Harbour Lights Sail Past

“Of course it’s disappointing. It’s one of my favourite community events.”

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Ucluelet Aquarium wraps up season with release day event

Residents help release charismatic critters on Dec. 7.

Tofino shops set to sparkle during weekend’s Jingle Into Christmas celebration

“It’s like a family reunion. It’s nice to see the locals’ faces.”

Child care sector feels the squeeze in Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

There are five children for every licensed child care space in the ACRD

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Most Read