The puck has dropped on the 2020 Police Cup hockey tournament, with hundreds of kids in Greater Sudbury taking to the ice at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Arena this weekend.
It's the 11th year for the tournament, which not only provides an opportunity for Sudbury Playground Hockey League players to get quality ice time, but also collects food through the Play It Forward Challenge, in support of the Sudbury Food Bank.
What's really nice about this tournament is the kids learn to give back as they receive, said Greater Sudbury Police Chief Paul Pedersen, who dropped the puck in the opening ceremonies on Friday morning.
“This is about the love of the game, and about giving an opportunity to kids who aren't away playing tournaments every weekend. This is it; this is their Stanley Cup. They all look forward to it.”
It takes years of dedicated volunteers, coaches and organizers to make this happen each year, and it's a partnership to lets the kids have positive interactions with police, Pedersen said.
“The tournament assists the Greater Sudbury Police Service develop trusting relationships with Sudbury youth and their families,” Pedersen said.
Since 2015, the Play it Forward Challenge has raised more than 37,000 pounds of food and cash donations for the Sudbury Food Bank.