Dodgeball for a cause

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Residents were dodging, hitting, and throwing for a cause during the annual KidSport dodgeball tournament.

KidSport Bonnyville hosted the event on Friday, May 11 at the Bonnyville District and Centennial Centre as a fundraiser to help put local kids in sports.

The non-profit organization raises money for low income families to help cover the cost of signing their kids up for sports.

“We pay up to $300 per kid, per year, towards their sports registration fees,” said Brad Ollen, chair of KidSport Bonnyville. “It’s just another way to raise some funds and get some kids off the sideline and into sports.”

The annual co-ed tournament requires every  team have a minimum of two girls on the court at all times.

Due to conflicting schedules, the event was held a little later than usual this year.

“We usually have it in the third weekend of April. This year, we had to bump it back a few weeks just due to some schedule conflicts with the volunteers,” said Ollen.“We’re right in the middle of ball season, and this year we, unfortunately, only got seven teams registered. Usually every year we had 10 or 12 teams. So, we’re down a few.”

He continued, “I think now that kids ball and soccer started, there’s adult slow pitch, mix modified leagues and it’s lacrosse season as well. There’s other things that are taking adults away from necessarily being able to give up a Friday night to go play dodge ball.”

Regardless of the turnout, the tournament had some new teams sign-up to help the organization and have a good time.

“This is our first year with the dodgeball tournament and my first time with KidSport too,” expressed team Wing Nuts member Alyssa Hellum. “I think it’s an awesome event and it’s a good turnout so we hope to be back next year.”

Apart from the game and raising money to support local families, Hellum’s motivation to participate was to get involved in the community.

She said, “I’m going to school to be a teacher, so I thought that it would be a great opportunity to start volunteering with KidSport.”

Since the beginning of the event, the organization raises approximately $1,500 every year from the event.

“All the money that we bring in from the registration fees stays right with us,” said Ollen. “This year, we will net around $1,050.”

Chasan Vasseur of team Average Joes said the organization is good for families that need putting their children in sports.

Ollen said, “This is something that happens once a year and we would like to encourage adults to be a little active and have a little bit of fun as well.”

In preperation for next year’s event, Hellum joked she would be training all year.

“We are lucky that we could put something like this on,” Ollen emphasized.

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