International and first-time events highlight return to sport in Burnaby in 2022

From the debut of lacrosse sixes to the first national dragon boat training camp to provincial soccer tournaments, sport events returned to Burnaby in a big way in 2022.

“We were thrilled to host so many events after the two-year pandemic pause,” said Robyn Hughes, manager of Sport Burnaby. “We welcomed familiar provincial tournaments back to Burnaby, but also hosted sports for the first time at our venues.”

The spring started with provincial soccer championships with top adult amateur teams at the Burnaby Lake West Sports Complex. That location also hosted 48 soccer teams from across B.C.  on the Canada Day weekend for the 2022 Provincial Girls B Cup. “I think we are lucky to have a place like Burnaby Lake West,” said Ryan McQuillan, Competitions and Member Services Officer for the BC Soccer Association.

Also in the spring, the Canadian women’s national rugby league team held a training camp and two games with players from the United States at the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club. This was the first international test match for Canada Ravens since 2019 and a first trip to the north for the USA Redtails’ national and development teams.

National competitions made their way to Burnaby in 2022 as the Harry Jerome Sports Centre, along the Barnet Highway, marked a lively, noisy and exciting return to sport tournaments in May as it hosted the boy’s division of the 2022 Volleyball Canada 14U National Championships.

Track and field was front and centre in June with the 39th Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Track Classic at Swangard Stadium.

The fall featured a couple of firsts for Burnaby. In September, history was made at the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club fields as 26 teams in five age divisions from B.C., Alberta and Washington state took part in the first international lacrosse sixes tournament. “The grass fields here in Burnaby are ideal. These facilities give us room to expand. We hope to be back next year,” said tournament organizer Keith Gagne.

In October, paddlers from BC and Alberta tested their skills in Dragon Boat Canada’s first national training camp to be held at Burnaby Lake. “The opportunity to have a central location right here in the Lower Mainland with access to sports facilities with room to host a large number of athletes is a wonderful set up for a national team camp,” said Tom Arnold, a member of Dragon Boat Canada’s national coaching team. “We hope to come back again.”

In November, for the first time in three years, international netball was featured in Burnaby, as BC Netball welcomed teams from the British Army for six games at two local venues: Christine Sinclair Community Centre and Burnaby Mountain Secondary School.

The sport calendar concluded in December with the sixth annual Pat Quinn Classic minor hockey tournament, also marking the 60th year of the yearly holiday season minor hockey tournament in Burnaby.