WESTVILLE – An annual hockey tradition in its 37th year kicked off Wednesday on a good note. The Westville Miners Annual Christmas Tournament attracts teams from neighbouring counties and has been a success in past years.
Westville Minor Hockey President Scott MacKinnon said he expects this tournament will be successful again this year, as they already had a good turnout Wednesday and things were running on schedule.
“It’s pretty early in the tournament, but it’s going good with good donations,” he said. Chairman of the tournament, David Sinnis, agreed. He said there was a good turnout of spectators Wednesday.
MacKinnon said this is one of several fundraisers Westville Minor Hockey holds throughout the year, and any surplus made from the tournament goes towards offsetting costs for the players to play the game.
Last year, their fundraising was so successful that they were able to carry $8,000 over to this season to offset registration costs for players.
“We should do pretty well in terms of our profit. A lot of it depends on our daily 50/50s we do for every game and the tournament,” MacKinnon said. “We won’t know the results of that until later in the tournament, but things are going good so far.”
MacKinnon said the key to running a successful tournament over the holidays is making a good impression on the visiting teams so they’ll want to return.
“The way the tournament’s been run, the hospitality room, it certainly adds to teams continuing to come back,” he said, adding that having dedicated parents volunteering their time is essential to running a successful tournament.
“Without the volunteers, you wouldn’t have a tournament. You wouldn’t have enough people to do it on an annual basis, especially when some are here at 7:30 in the morning and here until 10:30 at night,” he said. “They prepare all the food as well for the hospitality room. It’s a lot of work.”
Sinnis, who has been involved with the organization for about 20 years, said the tournament’s success also depends on the volunteers working as a team.
“All the volunteers are here working the door, 50/50s and just like the game itself, it’s a team thing,” he said. “It’s one of the biggest fundraisers for the organization and this the 37th year for it. So the formula for the tournament seems to be running good, everything is on time and the competition is good.”
The tournament continues until Dec. 30 when the championship games for Atom B, Peewee B, Bantam Rec, Bantam B, Midget C and Midget B will be held.