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Weather forces charity event to shift from pond hockey to ball hockey

'We are still going to have a great time playing the great Canadian game,' says organizer of popular event that raises money for regional cancer centre
Ted Markle, the organizer of the Braestone Winter Classic Charity Pond Hockey Tournament, has called an audible, moving the tournament to a ball hockey format at Braestone Golf Club.

Due to mild temperatures, The Braestone Winter Classic charity pond hockey tournament will be played on asphalt this year.

Organizer Ted Markle says the resilient group of small-town Canadians playing in the tournament are being faced with a "double-crossing" of mother nature.

"We were hopeful up until not long ago that temperatures would drop and stay low enough for us to have safe ice to play on," Markle said. "We invested enormous energy and resources unto getting the pond ready."

Markle says players and organizers are forced to admit the pond won't be ready for the tournament that was originally slated to start today. While organizers considered moving the tournament back, the long-term forecast doesn't look promising for winter-like weather.

"In the face of that, we've gathered together and come up with an alternative," Markle said. "We are going to have the modified Braestone Winter Classic Charity Ball Hockey Tournament at the Braestone Golf Club during the day on Saturday."

Despite the audible, Markle says the energy surrounding tomorrow's event is still positive.

"We are thrilled with the response from the players," he said. "They understand that we can't control Mother Nature and we aren't the first pond hockey tournament to face this challenge."

All funds raised from this weekend's event will be donated to the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre. The fundraising goal is set at $130,000.

"We are still going to come together and celebrate as a community," Markle said. "We are still going to have a great time playing the great Canadian game."

Due to the inconvenience of missing out on the pond hockey element of the tournament, Markle says players who registered this year will play for free in 2025.

"Players are still going to get their pond hockey experience," he said. "Playing on a pond surrounded by the beautiful setting that is Braestone Farm is a big part of the overall event."

During tomorrow's event, there will be a poutine bar and a live DJ.

"It's going to be a very festive atmosphere," Markle said. "It's going to be a celebration of the community coming together for a great cause."


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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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