A massive jamboree-style floor hockey tournament in Vanderhoof has kids making more than slap shots.
On April 23 students from schools in Fort St. James, Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof got together for an intense day of floor hockey fun. Event organizer Grant Grey, teacher at Evelyn Dickson Elementary, said this was the first time he’s done the tournament jamboree style.
“This way you don’t have kids going out to beat other schools. It’s a collaborative effort to work with other kids to play and have fun. The kids get to know each other, get some exercise and learn camaraderie with kids not from their school. In life you don’t always get to work with your best friend so it shows them some important life skills,” he said, just before shuffling off to coach his mixed team.
Although the Gr 4 and 5 students played with their own school teams, the Gr 5 and 6 kids were blended to make teams with students from all different schools.
Eleven-year-old Andrew Derksen from Sinkut View liked the fact he got to miss some school.
“Its a real fun sport too,” he said with a smile.
Another player Spencer Lewis, 13, from NVSS said he likes the game but liked it more that he got to make a few new friends.
Each team played two ten-minute halves with a two minute break in-between. The games ran nearly all day non stop at Evelyn Dickson, St. Josephs, the Vanderhoof Gospel Chapel and McLeod Elementary.
Referee volunteer Jesse Raymond, 17, enjoyed the opportunity to see the kids play and progress throughout the day.
“It’s cute watching them try to play the game to the fullest. I’m jealous because I wish I was still that young so I could play,” he joked.
Grey brought the idea for the floor hockey tournament back with him from William Konkin Elementary where he worked for 14 years. He coached floor hockey there and for the last six years also organized the tournaments.
This is the seventh year for floor hockey in Vanderhoof. A thank you was extended from Grey to all the volunteers who made the day possible including all the referees – Jesse Raymond, Eric Silver, Brad Neufeld, Caleb Kelly, Kris Williams, Bradley Bieganski, Kayden Barr, Trent Emel, Ruaj S and Quinton Wychuck.