Sports Entertainment Atlantic is hosting their second ball hockey tournament in support of Jumpstart this weekend.
The Canadian Tire Summer Classic runs June 15 and 16 in Bayers Lake, with each team guaranteed four games.
“We are very excited for this event as the second year always is an important indicator of how well we did in year one,” says president and founder Derek Martin. “It gives us a good idea of what to expect in terms of growth year over year.”
There has been a change in venue this year, which delights Martin.
“We moved from the old Rona site in Bayers Lake to the old Volvo site. We were maxed out last year with the space available,” he said.
“In order to accommodate the increase in interest we were very fortunate to find a larger site that could allow us to grow.”
He says they’ve seen a 30 per cent increase in team participation from last year to this year.
“I believe that we will continue to see that rate of growth as long as we deliver another great experience this year as word of mouth throughout the hockey community is our greatest marketing,” he said.
The Play On! Tournament – a long-time program that began in Halifax in 2003 – was disbanded last year, leaving founder Scott Hill looking for a way to bring it back. In its absence, Sports Entertainment Atlantic began this tourney.
They’ve learned plenty of valuable lessons since bringing the first one to Halifax fans.
“A large, secure, well-planned-out site make running a tournament such as this much easier. The participants appreciated being able to get to the event in the morning and spend a fantastic, full day playing ball hockey and socializing,” he said.
“It is as much about the social aspect as the sport aspect and that is very important.”
With 130 teams, 900 participants ad 1,500 attendees, he’s ready for a successful weekend for the Canadian Tire-sponsored event.
“I believe our success in attracting 130 teams indicates the demand and we are happy to provide an opportunity for families to get out and have fun on Father's Day weekend,” he said.
“Hockey, especially at the youth level is enjoyed by so many kids that it works perfectly for a family activity.”
He sees fun, food, music and a great tournament and day of sport in the future for all attendees.
“Expect the event to continue to grow as more and more families hear about what a fun experience it is for both the kids and the parents,” he said.
The event runs June 15 and 16 at 115 Chain Lake Drive. Each team will play four games.