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Photo: Marta Kierkus

Student-run charity hockey tournament raises funds for cancer

The Sandy Hill Winter Classic Charity Tournament has become a yearly winter tradition for the Sandy Hill student community to rally together  for a good cause.

The public outdoor skating rink at the Sandy Hill Community Centre is typically a fairly quiet place, but for one Saturday over the last three years it has been the site of some must-see hockey.

The Sandy Hill Winter Classic Charity Tournament is an event where teams filled with members of the university community come together to raise money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and face-off in some pickup hockey.

Fourth-year biomedical science student Evan Trofimchuk is the founder and organizer of the tournament and is incredibly proud of its success and growth.

“I’ve heard this year we’ve raised around $10,000,” said Tromfimchuk. “The event started as a way to bring together students for a common cause that we’ve all been touched by.”

With this year’s event gaining close to 200 registered participants, the total funds raised for Princess Margaret’s is in the area of $20,000.

“It’s turned into so much more having local businesses being involved with the tournament and incorporating them into it,” said Matthew Speyer, a fourth-year commerce student also involved with the event’s planning.

The tournament has been able to grow by gaining sponsorship across the local community. There were a number of giveaways including Ottawa Senators tickets and various donated prize packs from businesses across the city.

The main corporate sponsorship came from Red Bull for the third consecutive year, and The Draft Pub at Minto Sports Complex played host for a reception and awards ceremony.

There has long been a territory struggle between older members of the Sandy Hill community and U of O students. Luckily, the tournament has been able to get support and see no backlash but rather gain encouragement from others in the community.

“We’ve been helping shovel the rink and they’ve been telling us their stories about being students here,” said Tromfimchuk. “They’re super happy that we’re helping out raising money and being respectful in the community.”

Tromfimchuk had previously been uneasy about the future of the event after his graduation this year. However, in the planning stages of this year’s event, a committee was formed to ensure the tournament would continue in years to come.