NEW GLASGOW - Kids from A.G. Baillie and the Acadia Street School faced off for charity in a game of broomball on Feb. 2 at the JBM Stadium.
The game was a prelude to Jean MacLeod Proudfoot Broomball Challenge later that night between the Westside Community Centre and the North-end Rec Centre compete for a $1000 prize at the Westside Community Centre.
The kids’ teams each gave $50 to play at JBM Stadium, with those funds split between the two recreation centres.
“This was the first year we’ve had the kids take part and get some ice time,” said Julia Leblanc, board member at the Westside Community Centre.
She said that the kids are slowly being introduced to the sport in school and this was the first opportunity for most of them to put their skills to the test on the ice.
“We’re hoping for the game to continue next year, bigger and better.”
Broomball, an alternative game to hockey, started in Canada around the turn of the 20th century. The rules are essentially the same as hockey, but ordinary shoes and brooms instead of skates and sticks are used. The kids on the ice love the sport but would prefer some predictable adjustments.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Ethan MacDonald and Thomas Devine of New Glasgow. “But we’d go faster if we had skates.”
It’s not surprising since the pair play on the atom AA Crushers.
“It still just great to come out and play with friends,” they both concluded.
Most of the adults who came to help out play on the adult teams and are passionate about the game.
The game’s referee, Junior Duggan of Tatamagouche, has played broomball for thirty years. He’s played at the regional, national and international levels.
“When I heard there was going to be a broomball game, I wanted to help out in anyway I could.”
He says an activity like this is great to get a new generation of kids playing the game.
They might just grow to have the same affinity for the game he has.
“I fell in love with the game,” he said. “It’s taken me as far as Austria for the world championships.”
He says it can be a great ice sport that can be less expensive than hockey.
In the kids broomball game, the A.G Baillie team beat Acadia Street School 1–0. The winning goal was scored in in the last few minutes of play.
At the adult broomball game, held at the Westside Community Centre, the North-end Rec Centre defeated the Westside Community Centre by a score of 1–0, with the winning goal also scored in the last minute of play.