John Teljeur is hopeful he’ll have the opportunity to bring “pondemonium” back to Haliburton in the new year.
The 2022 Canadian Pond Hockey Championships are slated to begin Jan. 28. The annual event has been held on and off in the community since 2013, with games taking place on the pond by Pinestone Resort.
The championships had to be postponed in 2021 due to provincial restrictions brought on by the pandemic, and Teljeur is keeping his fingers crossed that history doesn’t repeat itself after a recent spike in COVID- 19 cases saw Premier Doug Ford usher in new restraints Dec. 19.
“I don’t know if it’s just my luck, but nothing ever seems to go the way I plan it,” Teljeur said. “With the whole virus
situation happening, that’s been a thing we’ve always worried about. Now there’s a different version coming along that seems to be spreading, we definitely have to keep an eye on that.
“Right now, we’re still planning on holding the event. We have a Plan B and Plan C in place if we need them. If we have to defer, we will, but we’re not going to do that until we know there’s no chance of it happening safely or responsibly,” he added.
Between 70 and 80 teams have registered to take part in the event, which draw as many as 500 tourists to Haliburton County over the two championship weekends. Games are scheduled to take place Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 4-5.
Visitors are welcome to watch the games on the ice, with 18 rinks of action on the go at any one time, but access to Pinestone
for any indoor event will be reserved for participants only.
The championships have been a great revenue generator for local businesses in the past, Teljeur said, with restaurants and hotels usually packed across both weekends. It’s also helped to put the Highlands on the map.
“We did a survey in 2020 where we asked people ‘do you come back up into the area after the games’, most people have never been up in the area before coming for the pond hockey event, and about three quarters said they’d be interested in coming back
up here again for something other than hockey,” Teljeur said. “It’s really been a great advertiser for the community, and it doesn’t cost anyone a thing. In fact, the local economy thrives when these championships take place.”

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