The issue of mental health was in the spotlight Jan. 5 and 6 when Fuller Lake and Island Savings Centre Arenas co-hosted a special hockey tournament for Bantam C teams.
BC Hockey has partnered with Buddy Check for Jesse to create awareness for mental health. Buddy Check for Jesse was created by Dr. Stu Gershman, who tragically lost his son Jesse to suicide October 29, 2014.
Petra van Deventer and Karen Thompson served as tournament coordinators. There were no Cowichan Valley teams entered, but the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association did an excellent job as host.
“We decided to pair it with Buddy Check for Jesse as it is a very worthwhile program and it was very well received by all involved,” noted van Deventer. “Mental health affects too many people and we need to end the stigma.”
The tournament featured Kerry Park, Nanaimo 1, Juan de Fuca C1 and Nanaimo 5 in Pool A. Juan de Fuca C3, Langley, Peninsula and Nanaimo 3 made up Pool B.
The tournament went very well, according to van Deventer, and game action proved thrilling.
The Langley Gators were the tournament champions, with Kerry Park finishing second and Nanaimo C3 third.
Some players attached green tape on their sticks in support of Buddy Check for Jesse. A total of $1,048.00 was raised and donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association.