Carrying on an impressive tradition built up over the last 15 years, GOT GAME Sports is reviving London’s spring street hockey tournament after it was announced in late January by the previous organizers that the annual event would not operate in 2018.
Now, it will – under a new name, with new leadership, and with the support of thriving local ball hockey leagues in the region.
“There’s a huge army of streetballers who were disappointed to hear the event wasn’t going to happen this year,” said Greg Matthison, who is the captain of GOT GAME Sports. “I wanted to bring that energy and excitement back to the city.”
Matthison’s own 6-year-old son was one of those players disappointed by the news, and he was a big reason Matthison decided to step up and fill the void. Now, his son – and countless other youth and adult hockey players who love the game – will get to experience London’s world class street hockey event this spring.
“For a sports and hockey fan, there really is no better weekend downtown at Victoria Park than during this tournament,” said Matthison. “That was at risk of not continuing, but we’re bringing it back.”
The GOT GAME Street Hockey Tournament will be similar in many ways to the former annual tournament, as thousands of players of all ages will take over the streets around Victoria Park for exciting ball hockey action. Matthison is tapping into the expertise of Dick Price, who runs the London Minor Ball Hockey Association and the London Ball Hockey Association, and Chad Asselstine, who has been a key manager with Ball Hockey International.
“These guys have managed many large hockey events in the past, and they’ve been key players in the growth of local ball hockey,” Matthison said.
The Londoner says he’s thrilled to be able to carry on the tradition.
“The event is full of energy and excitement, as players from all over come out to play Canada’s game, in its most basic form,” said Matthison. “That energy was gone, but now it’s back, and I’m excited for what’s in store this spring.”
For more information, visit www.GotGameSports.ca.
Contributions by Greg Matthison and photos by Forest City Image Centre/CameraCanada Sports