The West London Byron Optimist hockey tournament is no stranger to travel teams all across the province, but this year the tournament welcomed a team from across the planet.
The Beijing Flying Tigers flew all the way to Canada last week and took part in the annual minor hockey tournament right here in the Forest City.
Beijing head coach Michael Kuse is a St. Catharines native that has been living in China for a good portion of his life. “I brought the kids overseas for their first time and it has just been amazing to see the cultural exchange between the Canadians and the Chinese through the sport we love.” says Kuse.
The team flew into Toronto and caught a Leafs game before heading to London to face off against some of the provinces best novice teams.
Kuse adds that the West London Hawks novice team was very hospitable, “They took [our team] out to a Knights game and the two teams cheered loud and proud together all game. We exchanged and signed flags for each other. It was a great experience for all these kids.” adds Kuse.
The team now heads to Niagara Falls to experience more of what Canada has to offer before heading home to Beijing to finish off their hockey season. Kuse says he has seen nothing but smiles the whole time they have been here.
“This will be a trip these players will never forget.”