Sioux Lookout hosts hundreds of broomball players for Annual Clarissa Bottle Memorial Tournament
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Sioux Lookout welcomed over 300 women’s and youth girls broomball players from communities throughout the north for the 10th Annual Clarissa Bottle Memorial Tournament, which ran from April 11 to 14.
The tournament, which has always been run in Sioux Lookout, featured 23 women’s teams and six youth girls’ teams. The abundance of teams and games saw the tournament expand to Lac Seul First Nation for a day to use their arena as well.
“This is the first time that we’re actually using Lac Seul’s arena too,” said tournament worker Jonathan Chum.
“We had so many teams and games that we rented the ice at the Lac Seul arena,” said tournament organizer Michael Bottle.
The Cat Lake Eagles won the women’s A division finals, along with the Sandy Lake Blazing Archers winning the B division finals. The Slate Falls Free Birds won the C division finals and the Missabay Hawks won the girls’ youth finals.
Sioux Lookout Municipal Councillor Joyce Timpson took to Facebook to help welcome visitors and players to town, “Enjoy Sioux Lookout and come back soon!”
The different communities represented at the tournament included Poplar Hill First Nation, Pikangikum First Nation, Mishkeegogamang First Nation, Cat Lake First Nation, Kingfisher Lake First Nation, Wapekeka First Nation, Wunnumin Lake First Nation, Bearskin Lake First Nation, Nibinamik First Nation, Slate Falls First Nation, Big Trout Lake First Nation, Lac Seul First Nation, Webequie First Nation, Sandy Lake First Nation, Deer Lake First Nation, and Kasabonika Lake First Nation. Students from Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay also participated in the tournament.
This year’s tournament included certified referees from Dryden for the first time. It also saw growth in the youth division.
“Last year we had four teams, and this year we have six. We’re growing. I’d like to see how they do the different age groups for hockey tournaments; I’d like to do that with our girls too,” shared Bottle.
When asked about the turnout for the big tournament, Chum shared that he hopes to see interest in the sport continue to grow.
“It’s awesome, especially with the youth teams coming in… It’s a great, positive turn out. There are a lot of people that come for the tournament,” he said
“We’re trying to get more and more attention out there so we can try and draw in more people. We want to promote the sport… This sport is a really good sport for the communities because a lot of people are involved in it and love it. Now, a lot of the young girls come with their parents to watch them in the tournament and then they want to start playing too because the see other youth play it,” he concluded.