by Stephen Dafoe
Sixteen Novice teams from as far away as Bonnyville and Camrose hit the ice over the weekend for the 19th Annual Dennis Blair Borduzak Memorial Tournament, three days of hockey with the motto: Play Fair — Play Hard — Play Real.
The annual 4 the Love of the Game Tournament is dedicated to the memory of Dennis Blair Borduzak, who passed away following his Novice year of hockey in 1989. The tournament’s theme – 4 The Love of the Game – is an homage to Dennis Blair Borduzak’s number 4 jersey number.
The Borduzak family were at the Legal Arena Sunday afternoon to help present medals to participants. Every player got a medal during the tournament.
Adam Scharmann, Novice Director for the Sturgeon Hockey Club, said the key message of the tournament is good sportsmanship and fun. “The rules of the tournament are a little different than league play in that the number one emphasis is fun, good sportsmanship and teamwork,” he said. “It’s important to reinforce this with kids this age.”
Scharmann said the longevity of the tournament is remarkable and would not be possible with the many volunteers that make the event possible each year.
“In today’s day and age, it is hard to pull off an event of this magnitude,” he said. “Getting volunteer shifts covered is difficult. Everyone is busy. The event wouldn’t be successful without our volunteers, and there are 60 families involved in the tournament, and each family is committed to five hours of time over the weekend.”
Scharmann said his Novice Division is doing well this season.
“We’re having an excellent year,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of development in our core teams. We’ve got quite a span across the board in Novice, and the development I’ve seen across the board is phenomenal. I’ve always said the number one goal is not how many games you win, but how many kids want to come back next year and keep going in the sport.”