Whether you prefer the chilly air of an arena or the smell of fresh cut grass on a sunny field, we can all agree that sports are awesome. It’s where kids make lifelong friends while having fun, cities cheer for the hometown team and families and friends celebrate wins or lament losses together. It really is the glue of any community and here in Victoria, it’s no different. From hockey and baseball to lacrosse and soccer, we’ve got it all. So while you’re visiting, be a part of the action and come support one of the local teams!
It should be no surprise that when it comes to hockey, we’re in it to win it. There are two teams who call Victoria home; the Victoria Grizzlies who play in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and the Victoria Royals who play in the Western Hockey League (WHL). The Victoria Grizzlies is a junior A hockey club that recruits the best players from all over North America to play in showcase-style league competitions. It’s here that WHL and NCAA scouts search for talent and recruit players to these elite organizations. If you’re staying at Station Villa you’re a five minute drive away from the action! No matter where you are, come to a game, live like a local and support our boys. The Victoria Royals is a WHL junior hockey team whose games you can go watch at Victoria’s impressive Save On Foods Memorial Centre downtown Victoria which is a walk away from the Corazon, Fernwood House, Monaco Living and Ironworks Living and easily accessible by car and transit, no matter where you are. Since its inception in 1966, the WHL has been considered one of the best player development leagues in the world and continues to be a reliable supplier of talent to University sports, all levels of Canada’s National teams and the NHL. Grab yourself some tickets to one of their games, join Victoria in cheering them on and see if you can spot the next NHL superstar!
For all you footie fans wanting to catch a match and support a local team, then you’ll want to get yourself tickets to a Victoria Highlanders match. The Victoria Highlanders is an elite team whose home pitch is the Centennial Stadium on the UVic campus – an easy place to get to whether you’re staying close by at Beach Drive Manor or farther afield. They play in the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) and offer a full-time, two year residency for talented players. With European-style player development principles and extensive connections with the Bundesliga, every player is on a path towards either national or international collegiate opportunities or professional level soccer careers in Germany!
When you think about summer and sports, you think baseball. When the warm weather hits, you can be sure to find our ‘boys of summer’, the Victoria HarbourCats hard at work. The HarbourCats play in the West Coast League (WCL) which includes teams from Oregon, Washington and of course, BC. Not only does the WCL feature MLB prospects and top talent from college programs all over North America but no other college summer league has had as many drafted players – in 2013 alone, 57 WCL players were called up to the big leagues! With alumni all over the MLB rosters, the HarbourCats are our hometown pride and for Victorians who love baseball, the HarbourCats games are one of the best summer entertainment events, hands down. With their home field at Royal Athletic Park it’s easy for anyone staying downtown like at (EMR downtown Victoria), to get to.
Founded in 1950, the Victoria Shamrocks is one of the best box lacrosse teams in North America. The Shamrocks play in the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) a senior A men’s league along with six other British Columbian teams. The WLA calibre of lacrosse is very high so it’s no wonder that some of the greatest lacrosse players like in the world – Jack Bionda and both Paul and Gary Gait for example – have come straight from the Victoria Shamrocks. With 9 Mann Cups and 20 Provincial Championships under their belt, the Victoria Shamrocks are a daunting opponent and an incredibly exciting team to watch! Get your tickets here and see some world-class lacrosse!
When the sun is out, there’s no better way to spend a day than at a football game. Just outside Victoria in the Westhills community you can find the home field of the mighty Westhills Rebels. This Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) team offers exceptional post-high school players an opportunity to participate in highly competitive junior football in the hopes of grabbing the attention of college or CFL scouts. Off the field, the Rebels are actively involved in the community and committed to the development of amateur football on the island. If you’re staying at Nature’s Gate, you know how great this community is! So come out for a day in the sun, watch some great football, support our local team and the community!