Tourney experiences growth spurt | The Kingston Whig-Standard – Ontario News

Tourney experiences growth spurt | The Kingston Whig-Standard – Ontario News

For the first time in its 20-year history, the Kids for Kids Hockey Tournament will include girls teams.

Eight of them, to be exact — four in the house league peewee division and four in the house league bantam division — will take part in this weekend’s tournament. Seven of the eight teams play in the Greater Kingston Girls Hockey Association.

“We’ve inquired the last two or three years to have the OWHA [Ontario Women’s Hockey Association] sanction us,” said tournament chairman Garry McColman, explaining that the OWHA gives permission to its teams to play in only one local league tournament per season.

“But we’re not a league, we’re a huge charity. Once they got the whole story about Kids for Kids, they sanctioned the tournament.”

The go-ahead from the OWHA, however, didn’t come until mid-January.

“We decided to have a limited number of teams,” McColman said. “We could’ve had several more, we had a lot of applications.

“Post-tournament we’ll have a much better picture [of the success of the girls’ participation]. Next year we’ll get an opportunity to expand on the girls side of the tournament.”

Marc Hickling, chairmain of the Greater Kingston Ice Wolves tournament, which attracted about 90 teams in January, is glad that teams from his league now have a chance to play in the Kids for Kids tournament.

“It’s nice to have local options,” said Hickling, who will coach two teams in the tournament — a peewee boys house league squad and a bantam girls club. “Tournaments are fun. A lot of girls still want to play hockey [at this time of year]. It’s a nice end-of-year tournament and it’s local, so it cuts out the cost of travel and…

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