160 players participated in the 2017 3-on-3 hockey tournament. Photo courtesy of Kevin Marasco

3-on-3 tournament brings 160 players together

From Friday, September 1 to Monday, September 4, the third annual 3-on-3 Jamboree took place at the Fernie Memorial Arena. It proved to once again be successful, with 160 players throughout 20 teams participating.

These 20 teams came from all over the West Kootenay, East Kootenay and parts of southern Alberta. Included in this list were teams from Cranbrook, Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford.

Lisa Grabas and her husband, Michael, started the Jamboree in Fernie after attending other 3-on-3’s with their son. They saw the excitement of other parents there, and were asked if Fernie put on anything similar.

“We just thought, why don’t we look at hosting it in our own hometown, so that we could give the other surrounding communities the opportunity or any kids that want to play, and turn it into an event where we could also give back to the community,” said 3-on-3 organizer, Lisa Grabas.

All of the money raised by the tournament has been and will continue to be donated back to Fernie Minor Hockey as well as $1500 of this, will go to Fernie Friends for Friends.

In the past three years, the 3-on-3 tournament has donated over $10,000 back into the community.

Each team is comprised of eight individuals; seven players and one goalie. At any given time there are only three players on the ice. Teams play on a full sheet for the extent of the 30 minute game.

Teams ranged in age, from Novice all the way up to Bantam.

Throughout the weekend, 44 games of hockey were played.

“It was a full packed weekend,” said Grabas. “It was big.”

Grabas is continually grateful for the amount of support this tournament receives. Simply by word of mouth, she sells out. Last year, news of this spread to the United States, and several teams from the south made the trip to play.

For the first year, Lisa and her husband put up posters advertising the event as they traveled around B.C. and Alberta during spring training camps. Since the word has gotten out, the event has gained enough popularity that she no longer has to do this.

She is already filling up the waiting list for next year’s tournament.

“The event is designed for kids to come and have a fun weekend of hockey, and get the pre-season skate going for tryouts and for the upcoming season,” said Grabas.

“We try to have that philosophy where, just come have a fun weekend, bring your family.”

Grabas wanted to stress that the main purpose of this gathering was to allow young athletes to form community and celebrate the sport together.

She believes that hockey is important in a child’s life. She believes it builds camaraderie, friendships, and teaches youth to work as a team.

“I always think of hockey, like with my child in particular, I want them to be a good leader, I want them to be respectful, I want them to be disciplined,” she said.

“My husband and I are passionate about being able to offer kids the opportunity to build different relationships, different friendships, and have fun while they’re doing it.”

Every team receives the same award at the end of the Jamboree. On this plaque reads these words;

‘Good players inspire themselves, great players inspire others’.

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