Hanukkah celebrates a win over Christmas in the 2016 Oak Bay Xmas Cup that raised funds for support and awareness of MS. (Submitted photo)

Oak Bay Recreation Centre fills with family hockey fun Boxing Day

Ninth annual Oak Bay Xmas Cup returns to its roots to support Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island

The annual Oak Bay Xmas Cup hockey tournament returns to its roots this Boxing Day.

Last year, Hanukkah ousted Christmas in the tournament that raised more than $12,000 for support and awareness of Muscular Dystrophy.

“Each year we have rotated the cause to support someone or cause that has affected participants, family or friends of the tournament.

This year, nothing really came up, which is a good thing,” says organizer Sean Tackaberry. “We decided to circle back to a cause we supported in 2012. This year’s fundraising will be donated towards the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.”

The ninth annual Oak Bay Xmas Cup Hockey Tournament hits the ice at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre on Boxing Day.

The event features 64 players of mixed skill levels divided into four teams vying for the chance to hoist the Xmas Cup. The mini tournament features four one-hour games and two round-robin games, followed by a third place game and a final championship game for the Xmas Cup.

The format remains unchanged after nearly a decade. There are always 64 players, though the roster changes as they draw on the pool of about 120. The crowd however, grows each year.

”Most of the participants have been having children over the last five years, so it has become more and more of a family event,” Tackaberry says. “We’ve been holding a family skate in between the first two games, and last two games.”

That’s grown from about 12 players and kids on the ice two years ago, to about 40 players and kids last year.

“It sounds like this year, people are looking as forward to the family skate as they are the tournament,” Tackaberry says. “The Oak Bay Xmas Cup has become an event that everyone in our growing group looks forward to year after year. Giving back to the community is by far the best part, but it sure is a fun way to make it happen.

The tournament and our donation have grown for 8 straight years, and we are hoping the 9th Annual OBXC will continue the streak.

While it’s always a toss up on who will take the cup, Tackaberry admits, “it’s looking like Festivus or Feliz Navidad might have the strongest rosters this year.”


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