Fifteen teams will be competing in a fundraising hockey tournament from Sep. 2 to 5. The 3 on 3 Fernie Jamboree is the brainchild of Lisa Grabas. The tournament is in its second year and the event has grown from 2015’s 11 team roster and three days to four days and 15 teams for the 2016 edition.
“My husband Michael and I traveled to several 3 on 3 tournaments so our son Hayden could play and decided to start one up in Fernie and offer the event locally to players and also felt it was a great way to raise money for local charities and Fernie Minor Hockey,” said Grabas. “Both Michael and I were born and raised in Fernie, so we are excited that we can give back to a community that we have been part of for such a long time. We both enjoy seeing the kids having fun, that is what drives us to organize this event.”
Instead of usual 5 on 5 hockey, the tournament will have three on three play style. This allows for three players to be on the ice, excluding the goalie, at a time. This leaves more room on the ice and is an ideal “warm up” for winter. Since there is more room on the ice, the games have a reduced duration compared to a normal five on five game, explained Grabas to The Free Press.
“Three on three hockey is quicker so therefore the periods are shorter. Each game in the Jamboree consists of two – 15 minute run time periods, the kids skate hard in those 30 minutes so it is long enough and is fun to to watch.”
All proceeds are donated to local organizations. Grabas said that there are some attributes that she looks for when deciding who to donate too.
“Last year, which was our first Jamboree, we raised $3,600 and all proceeds were donated. Fernie Friends for Friends received $1,500 and the remainder went to FMHA which we purchased goalie equipment and put money towards new dividers,” she said. “The Jamboree also purchased an iPad Air for the PeeWee Rep Team for one of their fundraisers to raise money to attend Provincials. Our projection to be donated this year will be around the same $3,600-$3,800. With more teams comes more expenses such as ice fees and officiating.”
A Fernie councillor has offered his time and skills for the tournament this year, according to Grabas.
“Dan McSkimming is volunteering his time on Saturday of the event and [he will be] sharpening skates and the fee is by donation. All money donated will also be donated back to charity and Minor Hockey,” she said.
According to Grabas, the tournament would not be possible without the many people that support it such as the officials, arena staff and volunteers. She hopes to keep this event annual and see it reach 16 teams next year.
“[Their] time and generosity does not go unnoticed and Mike and I appreciate it,” she said. “Next year we are aiming for 16 Teams, which would be the maximum number we could host due to ice availability.”