A local church is hosting a road hockey challenge in an effort to make getting out on the ice a little more accessible for kids in Wellesley.
The tournament hosted by Crosshill Mennonite Church invites both girls and boys teams of up to five (including a goalie) for the novice to bantam age group. Co-ed teams are welcome and separate boys and girls divisions will be formed if enough teams are registered.
“We want to see as many kids play (ice) hockey as we can, [even if] their parents can’t afford it. We [are] trying to get more girls to play. So, that’s the whole intent,” said tournament organizer Marty Schwende.
The tournament has raised between $2,000 and $3,000 every year to help assist players that cannot afford to either pay signup fees or for equipment, Schwende said.
Back for its sixth year, the tournament has also seen several local NHL players make an appearance in support, including Bryan Little from Cambridge and Stanley Cup champion Tanner Pearson from Kitchener.
“The guys that we had out really love giving back to the community, and they love helping the kids. That’s what it’s all about,” Schwende said.
The celebrity appearance has also included a question-and-answer period.
“They sign autographs and stuff like that for the kids and the kids are over the moon. Some of them played a little road hockey with some of the kids and all in between some of the games and stuff like that – they get right into it,” Schwende added.
The church is still finalizing details on a potential NHL player appearance this year.
The tournament will happen on June 24. Registration is $120 up until May 20 and $125 after that. Lunch will be provided to participating kids. More information on rules and registration can be found at www.crosshillmennonitechurch.ca/roadhockey.
Completed registration forms should be emailed to email@example.com, payment will be arranged once registration is received. Once the registration form is received the team captain will be contacted with rules, waiver forms and further information.
Funds raised will be donated to the Twin Centre Stars and Twin Centre Hericanes Minor Hockey Family Assistance programs.