P3 Sports Inc. is hosting its fourth annual Novice and Atom hockey tournament, with this year being the first held in Cochrane. The tournament, which is set to run Dec. 29 through until the 31, will raise funds to fight serious diseases including one that hits one team close to home.
“We wanted the tournament to come from a place of giving and community, just help provide that perspective to the players and get these seven, eight, nine and 10-year-old kids involved in something bigger than the game, ” said, Ryan Hilderman owner of P3 Sports and one of the tournament organizers.
“We worked with (the teams) in order to pick a charity, each of the four teams picked one (a charity) and two teams picked Cystic Fibrosis Calgary because one player on one of our teams is directly affected with that. I think the Atom 1’s picked the Cancer Society, and the Novice 2’s chose the Alberta Children’s Hospital that they’re going to raise money for. ”
“All of the funds from the fundraising portion of the tournament will go directly to those causes. You’ll see them selling 50/50 tickets and working raffle tables with their parents. We thought that the idea was perfect given the season and to do something different for the community, charities and showing the kids what’s really important. ”
Hilderman said the idea is to take a fun holiday activity, and use it as a teaching moment to demonstrate Christmas is a time to help people in need.
“This tournament provides an opportunity for us at P3, for Cochrane Minor Hockey, coaches and parents to show the kids and help them understand that there are more important things in life than just hockey. ”
Hilderman he is stoked to bring the tournament to Cochrane.
“Last year, we held the tournament in Banff and Lake Louise and the idea was that we had an outdoor game in Lake Louise. It started with 16 Novice teams coming from all over Alberta … it was cold, but it was a lot of fun, ” Hilderman said.
“This year we looked at having it in Cochrane, obviously, and while (being able to use) the outdoor rink as a Winter Classic type deal like what they do in the NHL didn’t work out … with the weather we couldn’t get that rolling, but we’re really excited to have the tournament local. ”
“This is the first year we’ve been able to expand to Atom, so we have both the Atom 1 and Atom 2 Cochrane teams in the tournament, to go along with the Novice 1 and Novice 2 teams as the host teams … so there’s divisions at all those ages and levels. ”
Hilderman is also hoping the town will band together and show its support to the tournament and the causes the teams are looking to raise money for.
“Each team set a goal as for how much money they’d like to raise, ” Hilderman said.
“The total goal for all four charities combined is somewhere around raising $5,000. We’ve already had great support from the community, and it truly has been heartwarming to see. ”