Why I Love Our TNT Tournament

The four days every year when the TNT tournament takes place are my favorite four days at my job.

After reading this some might assume I am suffering from post-tournament stress disorder.

This year we saw 56 teams participate in TNT, which equates to approximately 750 players that played 113 games over four days. The club is absolutely electric during the event and the time required to organize and plan for the tournament is measured in months, not days.

So why I love the tournament?

Running a tournament of this size (probably the largest hockey tournament in BC) requires a massive commitment from volunteers, not only during the tournament but in the preparation phase as well. So reason #1 why I love TNT is witnessing our members donate their time and energy during their holidays to raise funds for our Initiation teams. I can’t thank you enough. Your efforts truly embody why our community at the club is so special.

This year also saw many of our younger NSWC members stepping up during TNT. I would like to personally acknowledge the contributions of Aiden Cronk, Jackson Ferguson, Conrad Fehr, Hudson Cronk, Tristan Payne, Dominic Payne, Nolan Gray, Caleb Gray, Dexter Hanna, Samantha Hamilton, Anna Bitonti, Jayda Vendargan & Sydney Gill for coming down and helping with various roles during the tournament. As well, our NSWC referees were fantastic with ensuring rinks were set up and games ran on time and were fun for everyone! Without your contributions, things would not have ran as smoothly as they did.

The last four years our TNT money has been able to support our initiation development program with weekly development sessions for all teams, goalie development, goalie gear for every team, new practice jerseys, coach gear and so much more! It is so important to grow our initiation hockey program and provide a great foundation for our youngest hockey players!

Reason #2 is that seeing kids between the ages of 5-8 years old having so much fun playing the game of hockey is why we run this tournament. These four days were filled with lots of hockey games but also many fun off-ice activities! I witnessed kids running around our club, sporting their 2020 TNT apparel, holding a cinnamon bun in one hand, all while wearing a huge smile on their faces. They didn’t care if they had won or lost their game. They were just having fun with their teammates and making new friends.

That’s what hockey is all about that this age.

Being able to put on a tournament that brings so much joy to young athletes and makes them love the game of hockey makes the countless hours that go into running this tournament worth it. I was lucky enough to play in the TNT Tournament as a young kid, and I want our next generation of Winterhawks to experience the same fun and excitement of playing in their first Home Tournament that I did.

Reason #3: I get a few days off after the tournament ☺

Thank you to all the volunteers who made #TNT2020 the best tournament ever. I hope everyone (kids, parents, volunteers & staff) enjoyed the four fun filled days of our 24th Annual TNT Tournament. A special shout out to my amazing hockey department team of Bob McCuaig, Aaron Wilbur & Kaitlin Hebron, as well as our maintenance, kitchen, youth & Front Desk staff.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” –Phil Jackson

Emily Allen