Display of Christina McLeod photos inside the Cowichan Community Centre Arena in Duncan. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Tournament would have started 20 years to the day since Christina McLeod’s death

Commemoration will now occur in October after event’s cancellation

Friday, March 20, 2020 marks 20 years since Christina Elise McLeod died in a car accident at the age of just 16.

March 20 this year also would have marked a great anniversary commemoration of Christina’s life as part of the Cowichan Valley Midget C Memorial Tournament at Fuller Lake and Cowichan Community Centre Arena for three days until March 22, but the event was another unfortunate cancellation of the COVID-19 virus crisis.

McLeod’s family is among the seven tournament honourees brought together by similar unfortunate circumstances from the early loss of loved ones due to tragedies. They shared a love of hockey and that’s been a great part of the ongoing healing process for family members and friends of McLeod, Paige Whitelaw, Ryan Clark, Zak Andrews, Brayden Gale, Eric Kernachan and Caleb Kroffat since the inception of the tournament.

Unlike most other annual events being shelved possibly till the next calendar year, the Cowichan Valley Memorial Tournament was moving to the Thanksgiving weekend anyway so it won’t be too long of a wait for everyone to get together again in October.

While all of McLeod’s family members were certainly disappointed by the cancellation, “it’s better to err on the side of caution,” reasoned Christina’s mother Louise.

During her short lifetime, Christina did some figure skating but developed a passion for hockey at a time when few girls were playing so she had to join boys teams. Christina also enjoyed officiating.

Louise remembers her daughter having to dress in broom closets or wherever they could accommodate her in rinks outside the boys dressing rooms.

“The rebel days of girls hockey,” laughed Lana McLeod, one of Christina’s sisters.

Lana said Christina was “super passionate about everything she did – essentially to the Nth degree. Energetic, definitely very intelligent. She was a very thoughtful person.”

“She used to get annoyed at people who would flop around on the ice and there was nothing wrong with them,” added Louise.

“She got on well with the boys.”

“She had a ton of friends in all walks of life,” Lana indicated.

Christina was part of a big family of six that included four other girls – Lana, Lora McLeod, Lisa (now Hykaway) and Chelsea McLeod – and one brother, Andrew McLeod.

Christina is obviously always in the family’s thoughts, but since her death occurred so long ago, “I don’t dwell on it a lot,” Louise conceded. “Sometimes I can talk about it, sometimes I can’t. When you lose a child, you’re grieving for what might have been.”

She focused mainly on her other kids to get through it and still does.

“Every one of them is important,” Louise reasoned. “You can’t spend your life grieving over the one you lost. I’ve got a lot of blessings in my life.”

The McLeods were among the recent additions to the expanded memorial tournament and are grateful for it.

“Last year was the first year I was able to get involved in the tournament,” noted Louise.

“It is easier to be in that mode when you’re thinking of her,” offered Lana.

The McLeod were excited to celebrate Christina’s 20th anniversary as part of the tournament, but that will have to wait just a bit longer now.

An award at the tournament named after Christina goes to the player with the most passion for the game.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Christina McLeod played hockey on boys teams during her time because there weren’t enough girls playing like there are now. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Volunteer Cowichan encouraging anyone in need to reach out

Programs available for seniors but also others in the community who need support

MacGregor addresses federal response to COVID-19

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP spoke to constituents via Facebook

Getting the runaround on reporting quarantine violation

Non-actions speak louder than words during COVID-19 pandemic

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Long list of events disrupted by COVID-19 around the community

Challenging situation affecting fundraisers, entertainment, sports and more

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

Independent investigation praises RCMP actions in Vancouver Island suicide attempt

Man hurt in incident that took place near Nanoose Bay in September of 2019

Most Read