By Dianne Cornish
Forty-five girls’ hockey teams from as far away as Windsor and Whitby will be in Flamborough Feb. 1-3 to participate in the inaugural Flamborough Falcons Winter Chill Girls Hockey Tournament. Games will be played all weekend at the new North Wentworth Twin Pad at Clappison’s Corners and Carlisle Community Centre, with five to 10 games also being staged at the Beverly Community Centre in Rockton.
Waterdown resident Christene Lissack, director of communications for the Flamborough Girls Hockey Association (FGHA), host organizers of the tourney, estimated that the visiting teams will bring in about 675 players ranging in age from five to 21.
The players will compete against teams in the novice, atom, peewee, bantam and midget house divisions as well as the atom BB, peewee B and bantam B rep divisions.
Tourney director Robert Coulombe of Carlisle said organizers are encouraging area residents to come out to support local teams.
A schedule of the games and their locations can be found on the association’s website at www.fgha.ca under the tournament tag to assist those planning to attend.
Ceremonial puck drops will be held at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on the opening day of the tournament at the North Wentworth arena with Hall of Fame referee Andy Van Hellemond in attendance. A trumpet player will present Canada’s national anthem.
A few local merchants will be selling jewellery and t-shirts in the lobby of the North Wentworth arena throughout the weekend.
Also, merchandise such as purple bracelets and t-shirts will be on sale in support of the “Do if for Daron” (DIFD) Foundation which raises awareness of teenage mental health.
Created by friends and family of Daron Richardson, an Ottawa girl who committed suicide two years ago at the age of 14, the foundation is a youth-driven initiative aimed at raising awareness and promoting conversations about youth mental health.
To help spread the word about the foundation and its work, a hockey family has donated about $700 to purchase heart-shaped DIFD stickers for every tourney player to put on their helmets; the stickers are purple, Daron’s favourite colour.
“Hopefully, people who don’t know about the foundation will ask (when they see the stickers) and that will be step one in raising awareness,” said Coulombe.
Information about the foundation will also be included in the tourney’s program.
Lissack, who worked extensively on putting the program together, said the event is expected to attract several hundred parents, who will most likely give the local economy a boost by visiting local stores and restaurants and/or seeking overnight accommodation at area hotels.
Sponsors of the upcoming tournament are Dancemakerz, Walmart Waterdown, Boston Pizza and Dairy Queen.