Taking hockey to the streets
MONTREAL – Always keen on finding new ways to benefit kids in need, the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation joined forces with the YM-YWHA to come up with the first edition of Street Hockey Tournament.
The event, which took place in Côte-des-Neiges on the street in front of the YM-YWHA not far from where the fifth “Bleu-Blanc-Bouge” outdoor rink is set to be built, was created in order to offer facilities and recreational resources to the community.
"I thought the event was really interesting. I started playing hockey in the street. That's how my dream of playing in the NHL all started," shared Patrice Brisebois who was the tournament's honorary president. "It was such a good idea. The sponsors, the volunteers, and the teams went all in.
"You don't have to have full equipment to play street hockey. Not everyone has the means to play ice hockey," explained Brisebois. "What's important for kids is to move around, have a healthy diet and to not smoke. That's something that's important to me, for kids to be active. In 25 years, our hospitals will be less crowded because our kids will be healthier."
All profits willgo towards keeping kids off the streets. The main objective of this first edition was to raise $300,000.
On Sunday and Monday, the Street Hockey Tournament offered kids and adults a platform to showcase their talents. A total of 16 teams took part in the youth tournament while 28 adult teams faced off against each other. A few Canadiens alumni also hit the streets on Monday for a Montreal Canadiens Legends Game.
Hugo Fontaine is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Lee Anne Vincent O'Connor.