A tournament held annually in the memory of a young boy who loved hockey is about to face off at the Langley Sportsplex.
From Friday to Tuesday (March 15-19), the Sportsplex is hosting 44 teams for the 13th annual Jordan Owens Memorial Spring Initiation Tournament.
The event - for five-to eight-year-old boys and girls players - is held annually in memory of Langley hockey player Jordan Owens, who succumbed to cancer at the age of eight.
One hundred per cent of the proceeds go to B.C. Children's Hospital. Tournament director Kimberly Doering noted that last year the tournament raised $21,000. Funds came from a combination of registration fees (less ice and referee costs), direct donations, 50/50 ticket sales, raffle tickets sales (most raffle items are donated), and team fundraising events.
Doering said players get involved in different initiatives such as toonie drives, 50/50 sales at the Abbotsford Heat and Langley Rivermen games, and bottle drives, and all proceeds are donated to the tournament.
Each team will get to play four games with the younger H1 teams sneaking in a short appearance.
The tournament has no playoffs as it is not about the winning or losing - it is about having fun and supporting a worthwhile cause.
Doering said the tournament is competitive in that each team plays four games officiated by a referee, however only the oldest division posts a score.
"The emphasis of the tournament is on the love of the game, sportsmanship, and skill development versus winning or losing," she said.
The tournament's popularity is growing. "This year saw unprecedented interest," Doering said. "We were able to purchase additional ice and offer registration to four more teams then initially planned.
In addition to that we had a wait-list of teams that we were unable to accommodate."