Quebec pee-wee tournament: an “honor” to receive a team from Ukraine
With the war raging in Ukraine, the general manager of the Tournoi international de hockey pee-wee de Québec, Patrick Dom, imagined that he would not have a team from this country European for the 2023 edition of his event, as has been the case in the past.
So he was a little surprised when he received an email from the Hockey Federation on ice from Ukraine asking for a place for a team in the AA category.
Patrick Dom did not hesitate for a second to accept the request, even if it involves a little more complex gymnastics. The young people who will make up the Ukrainian formation are no longer in their native country. They are scattered in Poland, Czechia, Romania and even Canada.
“This aspect complicates things a bit, but certain Ukrainian authorities and the country's Ice Hockey Federation wanted there is a team in Quebec,” said the DG.
“Each member of the team must obtain a visa to enter Canada. We are therefore currently working with several Canadian embassies across Europe.”
Besides, Patrick Dom will not be afraid to pick up his phone if ever things are not moving quickly enough and jeopardizes the participation of young Ukrainian hockey players.
“We haven't gotten to the point yet where I have to call the feds, but I will if I have to,” he said. I wouldn't say that time is against us, but let's say that we don't have too much of it either.”
A “little velvet”
The man who has to refuse around 200 teams per edition of his tournament really wants to receive these children who had to be uprooted due to the Russian invasion.
“It will be an honor to have a Ukrainian team in Quebec. They deserve it. We are pleased to put extra effort into welcoming them to our home.”
Patrick Dom also made it clear that he sees the initiative of the Ukrainian Ice Hockey Federation as further proof of the uniqueness of the tournament which originated in 1960.
“The fact that it's the Ukrainians who are approaching us to send a team to our country, that gives us a bit of a boost. With what they're going through right now, they didn't have to do that. It confirms once again that our tournament is bigger than hockey.”
“There is a Prime Minister who once said that we were merchants of happiness and this sentence is still not remained in the head, remembered Patrick Dom. It is true that we are merchants of happiness. I am convinced that the welcome that these children will receive will be incredible. It's the least we can do for them.”
– The 63rd edition of the Tournoi international de hockey pee-wee de Québec will take place from February 8 to 19, 2023 at the Videotron Center and the Pavillon de Youth.