FERGUS – A local couple didn't just bring tan back with them from a trip to the Carribean, they also came home with a pair of medals from a world champion ball hockey tournament.
Elora Rocks president Rich Wigmore and Cassie Silverthorn, the Rocks game day operations/social media manager, won a silver and gold medal respectively at the four on four World Ball & Dek Hockey Federation (WBDHF) championships held this month in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Both play for Team Great Britain Heritage and these wins represent the first time the team has medalled in the men’s division and first gold overall won by the women’s team.
“It was pretty surreal, especially being with the team for the past five and a half years and coming close to winning gold a couple times,” Silverthorn said in a joint phone interview with Wigmore. “It was really cool to finally have it happen, especially with this group of girls, we went hard all week and it was definitely the best team we’ve had at a tournament.”
Similarly, Wigmore recalled coming close to medalling in tournaments but losing in either the quarter-finals or bronze medal games.
“It’s been kind of a goal of ours just to get a medal,” Wigmore said. “It meant something deeper to us just to get a medal, so it felt pretty cool.”
As the owner of a personal training facility in Elora, Wigmore said the main reason he competes is to relate to his clients that are involved in competitive hockey that he practices what he preaches and to show them this training works.
Although they don’t play for Team Canada, Wigmore explained Team Great Britain Heritage is made up entirely of Canadian players as members only have to have British ancestry and not citizenship there.
“Ball hockey is very strong in Ontario and Canada, so being able to send a Great Britain heritage team which is full of Canadians allows Canada to have two teams there per se,” Wigmore said.
Next year’s WBDHF tournaments will be held in Mont Tremblant in June and then Turks and Caicos next November.
Wigmore said they pick these island nations, not known for hockey, as a way to help build their economies.
“It just helps bringing 20, 25 teams to stay in their hotels and resorts and spend money in their towns,” Wigmore said.