When visiting Victoria, I enjoyed watching the sport cricket, at a cricket club. I do not know if cricket is specifically Victoria only or prolific throughout B.C. I do know this is one city where the game is played! Whatever sport you enjoy, I discovered a website listing sports clubs (cricket and other) in Victoria. The website is given below.
Victoria had a Stanley Cup winner in 1925 and enjoyed a long run in the top junior hockey bracket - today’s Western Hockey League. But that team left in 1994 leaving hockey fans frustrated. Finally funding to build a new arena was passed by voters with the stipulation that a new WHL franchise could be brought in. The company responsible for bringing in the new team - RG Properties was unsuccessful in attracting a WHL team so they found a minor pro league team, the Baton Rouge Kingfish instead. The Kingfish played in the East Coast Hockey League - the team was an original charter member in a different guise as the Eire Panthers. The East Coast Hockey League lost its old name and is simply the ECHL today as its teams not only are found on the eastern seaboard but extend up to Alaska and down to California. Locals were unsure that the ECHL was as good as the play they were used to in the WHL and having seen both, I am not sure either. But with time and a few winning seasons, the team seems to have found itself with the local fans - though you still find an even split with fan jerseys between the Salmon Kings and the Canucks with the odd Maple Leaf and Habitant jersey thrown in for good measure. I guess the Canuck jerseys on fans are ok since the Salmon Kings represent a third level professional farm team with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League - AHL - and the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL above on the food chain.
Equipment: A ticket.
I honestly didn't excercise too much while in here but once in a while I went to Dallas Road to run or walk. Don't feel like walking? then do horseback riding which takes one hour
You can rent a bike or a boat too but honestly I preffer to walk.
Go to the Visitor Information Centre to know more about these activities and the places to do/rent them.
Hockey in Canada, what else would you do? We checked out the Victoria Spiders, a minor league team that played in what looked like a airplane hanger. Great action and a lot of these junior players will eventually make their way into the upper leagues.
Royal Victoria MArathon, Half MArathon and 5 miler is run the first week of October. As to be expected it is conducted with the best of BC hospitality and a really nice race. The one drawback is the fact there are only kilometer markers for those of us who only understand miles. What is so great is that Victoria is so small that you can roll out of your hotel bede and warm up walking to the start, next to the parliamentary building. Views are great during the race and it is not too hilly ( for the half at least). Pre race dinner was at the Empress hotel in 2005.
Equipment: Marathon gear
Victorians are not only fanatics about golf... they also love hockey, lacrosse, rugby, rowing, cricket, lawn or pin bowling, gymnastics, skating, curling, running, athletics, cycling, triathlons, soccer, field hockey, football, baseball, volleyball, tennis, badminton, karate, squash, archery, equestrian events... the list goes on. You name it... If its a sport... Victorians play it, watch it and most of all... love it!
The island makes water sports a huge part of life here. Rowing, sailing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, scuba diving, fishing, surfing and windsurfing are all popular.
Skiing, snowboarding and other snow-based activities can be found at world-class Mount Washington as well as many other locations on Vancouver Island, only a short drive N of Victoria.
Only on Vancouver Island does a typical winter day include golf in the morning & skiing in the afternoon! Also in the winter, surfers brave the chilly waters of the Pacific to ride the best waves of the year. A visit to Tofino during storm season is a must see. . Cuddle up by the fire and watch the waves lap. The world class surfers found here will keep you entertained, from the comfort of your cozy room that is.
This is Canada's year-round sports destination. Rated the Fittest city in Canada, boasting the temperate climate that allows both aspiring and accomplished athletes to train and compete outdoors year long.
Sports enthusiasts who prefer to participate from the cheering section rather than the playing field, also benefit from the city and it's natural playground. Victoria was host to the 1994 Commonwealth Games.
From Olympic gold medallists to local Little League teams... Victoria is the heart of champions. Athletes from around the world, across North America and your own backyard train in Victoria.
In 2010, Victoria's mainland neighbours... Vancouver and Whistler, will host the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Equipment: Sunscreen and an umbrella, you will need both!!
There is a great little shop at the lake... Elk Lake Watersports which has all things lake related and anything you can imagine to make your experience enjoyable. Canoes, windsurfing gear, paddle boats, fishing gear, Mini-golf, beach volleyball, you name it they have it. See "Bruce" and tell him Cheryl sent you! He will give you a great deal and he is very knowledgable. He will even rescue you if you are stuck out on the windsurfer in the middle of the lake and have no idea how to get back in if the wind dies down or you just plain give up. Yell for help!
There are many recreation centers in Victoria for those who want to travel and not sacrifice their workout.
Saanich Recreation operates many public rec centers, although none of them are downtown. Saanich Commonwealth Place has an Olympic-sized swimming pool and dive tank, as well as weights, cardio equipment and classes. Gorden Head Rec Center has a large pool, as well as extensive weight machines and cardio equipment.
For links, visit www.saanich.ca/resident/recreation/recmain.html
If you are in the downtown area, your best bets for public recreation centers are the Crystal Pool and Oak Bay Rec Center. They both feature large pools with waterslides. I use the Crystal Pool cardio and weight room several times each week, but I have never used the fitness facilities at Oak Bay. Monday to Thursday nights you can drop in to Crystal Pool for only $2.00 (after 9:00 pm).
Visit http://www.city.victoria.bc.ca/residents/prksrc_recrtn.shtml and http://recreation.oakbaybc.org/
There is also a YMCA very close to downtown (easy walking distance). It has a pool, cardio and weight equipment, as well as squash and racquetball courts. Online at http://www.ymywca.victoria.bc.ca/facilities_downtown.html
Yes, it's true, little old sleepy Victoria is home to the 'world's fittest couple' , triathletes Lori Bowden and Peter Reid (although they're no longer a couple). Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield also lives and trains here along with several other world class runners, rowers and cyclists.
Participate in our world renowned Royal Victoria Marathon and you may find yourself shuffling along (very much) behind someone like Jon Brown (Olympic marathoner). There's also a large contingent of African (mostly Kenyan) runners who live and train here for part of the year.
If you'd like to participate in some of the most scenic running, cycling or triathlons in the world AND be in a field that may contain world class athletes this is the place.
Equipment: Because of the talent here we have some of the best staffed and stocked stores you'll find anywhere. For running and triathlons check out Frontrunners at Yates and Vancouver. For bikes check out Fairfield Cycle, Performance Cycle and Fort Street Cycle.
Diving Ogden Point Breakwater. It can be dived from the shore or you can hike any distance out along the Breakwater to enter. The deepest is from the second bend to the end with the bottom depth being about 80 feet or 25 metres, but a person need not dive that deep there if they don't want to. At the second bend of the Breakwater at about 55 feet or 16 metres there are two pairs of wolf eels that are very diver friendly. They are used to divers feeding them sea urchins and will come out of their holes from under the rocks and swim all around the divers. Sometimes you may find octopus hidden in the rocks of the Breakwater and occasionally they may be seen out in the open. Huge lingcod are very common as well as greenlings, rockfish, cabezon, perch, and many other types of fish. If you head away from the Breakwater along the sandy bottom you will encounter sole. There are many types of crabs, starfish, nudibranchs, sea cucumbers, chitons, snales, limpets, anemones, and other types of life to see. The swimming scallops can rise off the bottom swimming like "Pacman". Ogden Point Breakwater is a marine preserve. No diving is allowed inside the harbour created by the Breakwater. There is a full service dive store located conveiniently right at the Breakwater. See the contacts below.
Equipment: Mask, snorkle, fins, BC, tank, reg and gauges, good coldwater wetsuit or drysuit, hood and gloves. Also a torch can be useful for shining light in between the rocks. Dive computer and underwater camera are optional. All available at Ogden Point Dive Center.
The Galloping Goose Trail is a 100 kilometer multi-purpose trail that was converted from a portion of the Trans-Canadian railway. Biking out to Sooke makes a good day trip as you'll pass through Vancouver Island's rural farmland and pastures, marshland, lakes and inlets.
Equipment: There are several places to rent a mountain bike in downtown Victoria and the cost is very cheap.