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Photos: Wawota Sledge Hockey Tournament great time for all 10 teams

Games were played throughout the weekend.

WAWOTA - Melanie Brimner was busy from March 24-26 as she organized the Wawota Sledge Hockey Tournament.

This is her 10th year of bringing together hockey players from all walks of life to have the chance to just have fun.

Brimner is Blake Lamontagne’s mom, and she had hoped that her sons would be able to play hockey together some day, but never had the chance when 16 years ago a tragic accident left Lamontagne paralyzed.

“This tournament is for everyone to enjoy,” said Brimner, but her main reason was for her son to be able to play hockey with his friends and brother.

Another big reason was to give people the opportunity to play an organized sport when they felt they were never good enough to be part of a team.

Brimner said the goal of the tournament is to promote acceptance and inclusion. It is an equal opportunity for everyone to come out and have fun no matter what their age is or level of ability.

“No one gets left behind,” she said.

Games began Friday afternoon and ran all weekend. Finals were held on Sunday.

The top four teams would proceed to the A event, teams 5-8 would go to the B division and teams nine and 10 were finished.

The sleds are owned by Brimner. They are like a small toboggan with two blades on the bottom at the back. One is strapped in with a seat belt. Two short sticks are used, with picks on the end to help the player move along the ice.

The sport takes a great deal of upper body strength to be pushed along the ice, yet everyone seemed to maneuver across the ice quite well.

Many people came out to watch including Dave and Shirley Brimner, Lamontagne’s grandparents. Dave stated he is so proud of his grandson for doing so well with his life and going to worlds in the fall for water skiing. Dave mentioned that Lamontagne’s hockey jersey is hung on the wall in the Wawota arena.

Brimner is thankful for all the donations for the silent auction, with just under 50 items to bid on. A ticket draw was held for an outdoor lounge chair and TV. The kitchen was also open throughout the tournament, claiming they had the best burgers around.

Approximately $11,000 was raised before expenses. Part of the funds will help Lamontagne offset costs to go to worlds.