Brock leaders host charity ball hockey tournament

After a successful run last year, BLCS will hit the courts again to host their Second Annual Flora Broley Memorial Ball Hockey Tournament. Participants will be raising money for the Alzheimer Society of Niagara while playing a fun, though competitive, game of ball hockey.

Teams can have a maximum of 10 people. The format for play is four-on-four, including a goalie, and each team is guaranteed three games. Prizes will be handed out throughout the day, and a grand prize of a $450 party package to Sniper Alley Paintball will be awarded to the top fundraising team.

Each team must contribute a minimum of $200 to participate in the tournament. Players can raise this money through personal donation, or by collecting pledges. All proceeds go to the Alzheimer Society of Niagara.

Last year’s tournament was a success, with 12 teams participating and raising just under $3,000 for charity. Laura Broley, the Member at Large for Brock Leaders Citizenship Society (BLCS) hopes to do even better this year. The tournament has already accumulated 16 committed teams.

“We are hoping for 20 teams, that’s our goal,” she said.

The tournament is taking place over the March 12-13 weekend at the Niagara Ball Hockey Club, at 450 Eastchester Avenue East in St. Catharines.

It may have been for charity, but players competed with a little more intensity than expected last year. Broley hopes for the same feel this year.

“Last year was more competitive than we thought. Teams were getting a work-out out there,” she said. “It was competitive but fun I found, everyone was having a good time, and I’m hoping for that this year.

The BLCS is a student-run group that organizes charitable events at Brock University and in the Niagara region. The society also helps Brock student leaders find a sense of community within their own group. Kristina Wamboldt, a secretary on BLCS, shared her explanation of the group.

“It’s about leaders coming together[...]it’s also about making connections.”

Students in the society receive a position after applying online and being accepted. Acceptance is based on multiple leadership traits including volunteering, school and community involvement and student average. Although a scholarship is rewarded, BLCS members are required to meet and plan charitable events during the school year.

“When I got it, I was just ecstatic. Not just the money, but this neat opportunity[...]I didn’t really know what to expect,” Broley said.

Broley would go on to take on a larger role in the BLCS, earning the title Member at Large and pitching her idea of a charitable ball hockey tournament to the group.

“I brought the idea to BLCS and – being the people who they are – they went with it. We haven’t really looked back since then.”

Wamboldt commented on Laura’s initiative.

“Last year was the first year. Laura came up with the idea, and everyone loved it,” she said. “It was amazing [...] it went so well in such a short amount of time.”

Wamboldt said the event was successful last year, but this year will have a much better outcome. She attributes this partly to the earlier organization. Last year, planning began in January, while this year the group started in September.

Although gearing up for the ball hockey tournament is their current initiative, it is only one part of the group’s involvement. BLCS is actively involved in Shinerama, open houses and individual community volunteering. One or two major projects are usually taken on. The second-years in the society hosted a successful senior prom earlier in the year, while the first-years are more involved with the tournament.

Choosing the Alzheimer’s Society of Niagara as their charity has personal importance to both Broley and Wamboldt.

Broley had close family member affected by the disease, and she now sees herself reaching out to others in similar situations.

“It is a personal experience for me to help others deal with what I was going through at that time,” she said. “The way I see it, no one should have to forget.”

If you would like more information, or would like to get involved with the Annual Flora Broley Memorial Ball Hockey Tournament, visit their Facebook page.

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