With respect to our neighbor to the south which promotes itself as the Tournament Capital of Canada, Kamloops has nothing on Prince George when it comes to sports.
Prince George has been crazy about sports from its earliest days. There used to be a wooden ski jumping ramp off Connaught Hill and jumpers would land (hopefully on two feet!) roughly where the library and the civic center are today. Prince George has produced Winter Olympians in speed skating, snowboard cross, biathlon and virtually every form of skiing there is. This past summer, Prince George welcomed home Brett Connolly with the Stanley Cup he won with the Washington Capitals. He’s the third former Prince George Cougar to win the Cup and the second former resident (Turner Stevenson was the first) to bring the Stanley Cup to Prince George. Also, this year Jess Pettis finished 1st in Canada for Motocross Pro 250 class and was picked to represent Canada in the International Motocross even held this year in the USA on Oct 6 - 7 2018 where he finished 9th overall.
But that’s just the elite athletes who have gone on to the national and international stage. Most towns in Canada, from Prince George to the smallest village in Saskatchewan, can boast about their guy or gal who made the big leagues. What Prince George really excels at is participation. Along with the many competitive athletes, from high school and city league teams in various sports, it seems nearly everyone plays one or more sports regularly, from golf in the summer to skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. They don’t do it to win games (well, sometimes they do it to win bets!) but because it’s fun, it’s healthy, it’s smarter than binge watching Netflix and it builds community and memories with friends and family.
When people from outside of Prince George look to relocate here for work, they obviously look at things like housing affordability and good schools for their kids but the most common question I get is about what we have for sports and recreation. Where are the ski hills and cross-country trails? Where are the indoor and outdoor rinks for hockey and figure skating? Where are the golf courses, hiking trails, workout facilities, public gymnasiums, curling rinks, baseball diamonds, badminton or pickleball and soccer and football fields? Where can one go to take up new sports, like archery or long & short gun range? (PG has one of the longest gun ranges in Canada). Does Prince George have a track for me to race my lovingly restored muscle car or race amateur or professional motocross? What does Prince George have for wheelchair athletes and Special Olympians?
My answer is always the same. We have it all and more.
We have some of the top recreational and competitive sports facilities in the country, from the Charles Jago Northern Sports Centre, to CN Centre and the Kin Arenas to the facilities at Otway. But don’t take my word for it – we beat Kelowna and Kamloops to land the 2015 Canada Winter Games for more than one reason.
We cheer for our teams, of course, from packing Rolling Mix Concrete Arena last spring for the incredible playoff run by the Prince George Spruce Kings to the deafening screams in high school gyms during volleyball and basketball season, but when we’re not rooting for the UNBC Timberwolves or the Rated PG Rollergirls, we’re out there doing it, rain or shine, all four seasons.
For new residents looking to settle in and make friends or for longtime citizens wanting to expand their social circle, the fastest way to do it is to take up a sports, join a club or league and get active.
See you out there!
Here is link to City of PG - Things to do page.