One team, as well as dozens of other aspiring young athletes in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, walked away winners from the first-ever KidSport ball hockey tournament.
Ridge Meadows Hockey Association’s U-13 Penguins emerged triumphant in the finals, earning gold by beating the Ridge Meadows Hornets in a 5-1 game Sunday afternoon.
But it was local kids – those who come from families that can’t afford to pay for sports registration and gear – that surfaced the real victors from this week’s tournament, explained Len Walters, chair of KidSport’s Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows chapter.
KidSport is a provincial organization that helps financially challenged kids play spsorts.
The local chapter hosted this weekend’s three-day tournament at Pitt Meadows Arena as a way of raising money for the cause.
While all the numbers weren’t in yet, Walters estimated Sunday afternoon that this year’s ball hockey tournament should generate $2,000 – in part thanks to a $1,000 sponsorhip donations from Envision Financial.
While one team pulled out of the tourney, the remaining three teams (two local and one from Surrey) were each still able to play four games heading into the finals.
“This was our inaugural tournament,” Walters announced, confirming planning to do it again.
“It will be expanded, and we will be getting more teams aboard for next year,” he added, explaining that organizers have learned a lot from the first-ever event – including the need to get the word out sooner.