And town administration seems to agree.
A hockey tournament on the edge of being canceled this year due to perceived rampant illegal alcohol use and mistreatment of town staff from the 2013 version of the tournament, the 2014 version sailed smoothly along the frozen waters of the Taber Arena for the most part according to Aline Holmen, recreation facility manager for the Town of Taber.
“Prior to the 4-on-4 Tournament, it was made sure it went well with a meeting of town staff, organizers administration and also the Taber Police,” said Holmen to Taber Recreation Board members at its April 3 meeting. “The tournament went on where a bunch of processes were put in place and we really had no incidences occur. Police did not give out any tickets. They were there on site consistently. I was there four times during the day and they were there every time as well.”
Beyond a couple of minor incidences, including one player trying to bring alcohol onto a player’s bench which was dealt with immediately, there was no disrespect shown to the staff, according to Holmen for the 2014 tournament and there was no unscheduled skates onto the ice impeding ice maintenance.
Also Holmen noted, town staff was not aware of any alcohol that was in the bleachers, as volunteers monitored it.
“There were a couple of suggestions that came out for next year, but basically, the end result, we’ll stay with the same processes that the recreation board requested that they had in place for this year for consideration for next year,” said Holmen.
Acting recreation board chairman Luke Wijna worked a shift at the tournament during the weekend and heard plenty of positive things.
“I talked with all your staff and just the atmosphere was so different compared to last year and they were very pleased,” said Wijna. “You see the go cups go into the stands and you just don’t know what is in them, but what can you do? All the comments that were made when I was there were very good.”
Holmen and Rob Cressman, director of community services were down at the rink alternating shifts all weekend, and between their feedback, staff feedback and organizers feedback, along with police feedback the following Tuesday, overall opinion was positive.
“They kept the people in the beer gardens and made a lot of money. They handled themselves very well and were very professional,” said Holmen. “The patrons were very respectful. In my comment to council and the police had a similar comment and that was it was actually a hockey tournament this year and not a drunkfest. It was less of a beer garden and more of a hockey tournament.”