UBC Okanagan students host first-ever Orchard City Cup Hockey Tournament

Students from UBC Okanagan will compete for the first-ever Orchard City Cup in Kelowna next month, in a tournament they have organized for intramural hockey teams from colleges and universities across B.C. and Alberta.

The Orchard City Cup tournament will offer a trophy and $500 cash prize in its inaugural year – money the winning team must then give to a charity in their home community.

“This tournament is about playing hockey and having fun – but it’s also a way to demonstrate volunteerism and good citizenship by having teams come here to be part of a charitable event that can make a difference back home,” says host committee chair Jordan Edwards, a second-year science student at UBC Okanagan. “You get to take the prize back home and share it with your community.”

All funds raised through game ticket sales will be donated to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation.

Edwards is a member of the Whiskeyjacks, one of two teams that compete twice a week in UBC Okanagan’s student-run intramural league. They will face off against visiting teams from UBC’s Vancouver campus and other communities as registrations grow.

To date, three teams have signed on to take part in the tournament, says co-chair Laura Harriman, a fourth-year sociology student. “In the future, we’d like to see the prizes and number of teams increase,” says Harriman. “We are working hard on this because we want it to be something we can really be proud of.”

Most universities and colleges in Canada have intramural leagues, notes Edwards. “But the only other tournament like this is in Ottawa -- two universities competing for the Capital Cup.”

Right now, organizers are hoping to garner as much community involvement and sponsorship as possible to keep down costs for the visiting student teams.

“As students, we were challenged to be active in creating the kind of UBC Okanagan campus life and activities we want,” says Edwards. “We started a hockey league, and this tournament is the next step. This is the first year for UBC Okanagan, so we’re having teams come here and we’re going to showcase our university.”

The tournament games will be played at the Capital News Centre in Kelowna from February 22 to 24, 2006. It’s a non-contact style of hockey with teams of male and female players with no professional, major-junior, or varsity experience. The tournament website is www.orchardcitycup.ca.

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