Work hard and do your best — that’s the advice Scott Balkwill remembers his grandfather Boyd Balkwill providing.
“I was just a little kid playing with a bunch of bigger kids, and one of them ran over me,” said Scott. “He came up to me after the game and showed me what I should do to avoid that in future.”
Scott, who coaches minor lacrosse, was at Rotary Place for the weekend-long Boyd Balkwill Memorial Tournament. The event was started some 30 years ago to honour Boyd Balkwill, who played a major role in developing lacrosse in Orillia.
“I know he enjoyed the sport, just as I do,” said Scott.
And that’s why he wants to give back to the community by continuing to organize the event named in his grandfather's honour.
“I was fortunate enough to play lacrosse throughout my childhood,” said Scott. “The fact that I can help try to give back and promote the sport all across Orillia is important to me.
“It's a good sport for kids and a good outlet for learning to work together and being in a team,” he added. “It's a sport you can be really creative in and that's what attracts me to it.”
And the popularity of the sport has grown over the years, said Scott. This year, 38 teams participated in the annual tournament, with kids aged between four and 17.
The teams were playing at three different arenas in the area. Both pads at the Rotary Place were being used, as well as the Mnjikaning Arena Sports Ki in Rama and the arena in Oro-Medonte.
“It's great for the kids to be playing in front of their friends and family,” said Scott. “It's meaningful for them. The team that wins gets medals and takes home the trophy.”
For more information on Orillia Minor Lacrosse, visit orilliaminorlacrosse.com.