Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BC Lions Football ~ Training Camp ~ Kamloops, BC

Kamloops, BC is known as Canada's Tournament Capital with the greatest facility to support that at the Tournament Capital Center. We not only host tournaments, Kamloops can host many different events including Canadian football league teams here as well, so it would only be right that we host the BC Lions Football team for their training camp. 

BC Lions welcoming sign into Kamloops, BC
 Kamloops, BC welcomes the BC Lions to their training camp at the Tournament Capital Center that we so proudly show. The BC Lions had held their training camp in Kamloops in 2004 but we did not have this Tournament Capital Center at the time. Now they've returned for the first time in a four year plan and are enjoying the facilities we have to offer, which includes an FIFA certified field, an Olympic length pool, internatiionally acclaimed track and field facilities, modern training center and well equipped gymnastics center.

Members of the BC Lions enter the field at the Tournament Capital Center in Kamloops
Training camp is an opportunity for new recruits to show their stuff with hopes of becoming a permanent member on the BC Lions roster. There were lots of them on the field as they prepare to meet some fans who have enjoyed having the Lions training camp held in Kamloops. The Lions have held several training sessions here over their three week training camp.

Coach Wally Buona signs autographs for his many Kamloops fans
Wally Buono was hired as the coach and General Manager in 2003 and that was followed by one of the best seasons in club history. That was then followed by several more with winning of the Grey Cup as champions in 2006. Buono became the coach with the most all-time wins in CFL history with 243 wins in 20 seasons. The lineups were long to get his autograph and he stayed for as long as it took to sign for everyone.

The BC Lions line up for a photo with fans and to sign their autographs
Coach Wally Buono and his team of BC Lions were there to autograph for the fans that came to enjoy the final night of the training camp in Kamloops. Music was planned for entertainment and the opportunity to pick up any souveniers the fans might wish to buy showcased in the tent. The Lions had held a Fanfest during their stay, as well and had autograph sessions and celebrations then.

Eager fans wait in line to get an autograph from the CFL team of  BC Lions at Training Camp
Many fans meet the players alongside the fence to take their pictures with their favorite players and get an autograph on photos or on the shirts on their backs. Fans are from the very young ones, budding football players who are eager to absorb all they can right on up to those that have been fans for years and are enjoying the close up with the heros of the football field.

Perhaps some last minute advice from fans before the practice session begins
Fans of all ages come out to watch the BC Lions during their training session and many of those are eager to get an autograph, too. The players all seemed to enjoy the time they have to mingle with the crowd and show their appreciation for the fans who support their season of football in the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Warm up session begins before the last scrimmage of the 2011 Training Camp
Once their autograph session is over, the Lions are out on the field doing warmups and drills to prepare for a game of scrimmage before calling it a night. The time has come that they are now preparing to head back to Vancouver, their home town and begin the games that will keep them busy for the next months.

We wish the BC Lions a wonderful winning year and look forward to seeing them come back to the Tournament Capital and hold their Training Camp of 2012 at the Tournament Capital Center in Kamloops, BC.