Kimberley Community Album
Kimberley Sports Teams
Kimberley has always been a sports town. From early times the CM&S helped to sponsor athletes, providing jobs that would release players when they needed to go on tour. It was a competitive environment throughout the Crowsnest Pass and Kootenay region. A number of industrial employers, both mining and lumbering, invested in the pride of their town by backing sporting imports and providing some of the capital support in baseball diamonds, soccer pitches and arenas.
This competitive spirit spilled over into the public schools and Kimberley was always a challenger in East and West Kootenay playdowns. The first high school in Kimberley was built in 1925, thus keeping the older kids in town. A rivalry between Kimberley and Cranbrook soon evolved. Herb Stanton or 'Mr. Sports' was hired in 1928 as Recreational Director for McDougall Hall. He trained many boxers including a welterweight champion of Western Canada (Hugh Fraser) and a 1954 Olympic boxer (Jack Butula). McDougall Hall also served as a centre for weight lifting, basketball, badminton and gymnastics.
Kimberley became known for its ski jumping, and especially for the second jump on the hill above the present Overwaitea store. The sport caught on and the first jumping tournament was held in 1933, featuring Nels Nelson from Revelstoke, then world champion. It ran a quick life with the last jumpers soaring in 1938. But out of that energy the Kimberley Ski Club grew in the late 1930s. Eventually the North Star ski hill was created and this hill has loomed large in the life of Kimberley ever since.
The glory of sports history in Kimberley must be given to hockey. From very rudimentary beginnings at Top Mine, on a flooded tennis court, the sport mushroomed to outdoor rinks in downtown Kimberley and Chapman Camp. In 1930 the first indoor arena was built and functioned until condemned by the Fire Marshall in 1957. The Kimberley Memorial Civic Centre was opened in 1961 and still functions.
Organized hockey came to Kimberley around 1920, with a league forming in 1921 that included Kimberley, Wycliffe, Cranbrook and Lumberton. Kimberley won the league that year and defeated Fernie for the East Kootenay Championship. In the 1925-26 season Kimberley won the East Kootenay championship and then the right to play for B.C. Intermediate hockey's Coy Cup. They defeated the Vancouver Seaforths in a two game total goal series which featured their one-armed goalie Jim Peever.
Then the Kimberley Dynamiters made their debut in 1931, coming to dominate Senior Hockey in a convincing way. They won the Allan Cup in 1935-36, the first team from the West to do so. Then the captured the World Championship in London England in 1937. The Dynamiters went on to post a large number of convincing victories over the years, carving the name of Kimberley into the sports annals of British Columbia and Canada.