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Pond Hockey Festival: Nothing says 'north' more than a good game of shinny

Celebration of Canada's favourite game draws 67 teams to ice on Ramsey Lake

Having battled some bad weather last year, Sudbury's Pond Hockey on the Rock Festival made a spectacular return for its 10th anniversary on Ramsey Lake.

And the turnout this year was bigger than they had expected.

With games played on the ice in front of the Northern Water Sports Centre, the volunteer-run event took place over the weekend with 67 teams battling it out on the ice in six categories: men, co-ed, women, masters and corporate.

“People come out and compete for a trophy, but it really is not about winning or losing — it's about returning to your childhood,” said Barb Nott, the event co-ordinator for Pond Hockey Festival on the Rock.

Apart from providing families, friends and colleagues with the opportunity to get outside and get back to the grassroots of a game that is truly northern, the event also raise funds to help two local organizations, Camp Quality Northern Ontario and YES Theatre.

“In the past ten years, this event has raised close to $200,000 for various charities," Nott said. "However, the catch is the money raised has to benefit the local community itself.”

The two-day tournament proved to be a memorable event not only for the teams who played but also for the young volunteers who helped throughout the day. 

“It was a lot of fun, even though I didn’t play, I got to meet new people and make friends,” Connor Burke, a volunteer, said.

The event drew approximately 176 volunteers over the two days of the event.

“Volunteers are a major part of this event, they have helped us set up either before the event or in the past couple days refereed, set up fire, we are the only organization that does that,” Dan DeNoble, tournament convener, said. spoke to some volunteers who all agreed there was no better way to spend the weekend than help their community have fun.

“It was just fun being part of an event where everybody from the community could have fun,” Burke said. 


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Gia Patil

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