Everyone knows hockey is big in Leaside. It’s not enough to play for a North York (NYHL) or Greater Toronto (GTHL) team, Leaside kids want to play for their school as well. In the TDSB, schools can either play league hockey or one-day tournaments. Bessborough has traditionally played the one-day.
Unfortunately, in previous years, the local kids were slated against teams from elite hockey schools. Ever-enterprising Leaside parents decided to organize a local competition so that skills could be more evenly matched and kids would, ideally, play against some of their neighbourhood friends.
Last year, The Leaside Cup was inaugurated for the Grade 5 and 6 age groups, at where else, Leaside Arena. Conveniently, there is ample ice-time during school hours. The first tournament involved three local schools: Bessborough, Rolph Road and Bennington Heights.
It was such a success that this year the Grade 7 and 8 Intermediate teams were included as well.
The Leaside Cup has grown to include six schools for each age group. The Grade 5 and 6 co-ed teams played on January 17th and the Grade 7 and 8 teams played on the 18th.
TDSB schools were represented by Grade 5/6 teams from Northlea, Bessborough, Rolph Road, Bennington Heights, Deer Park and Forest Hill. Grade 7/8 tournament teams included Bessborough, Northlea, Deer Park, Glen Ames, Hollycrest and Forest Hill.
A first place trophy was awarded for each day, as well as ribbons for second and third place.
The winners are as follows: Grade 5 and 6: First Place: Forest Hill, Second Place: Bessborough, Third Place: Rolph Road. Grade 7 and 8: First Place: Glen Ames, Second Place: Forest Hill and Third Place: Hollycrest.
A huge thanks is owed to parents Tracey Shepard and Sheila Allen, and Bessborough teacher Ritch Couper for organizing the overall events. Also thanks to all the teachers and volunteer parents who offered to help coach the school teams—and to our student volunteer timekeepers! The arena staff was also extremely supportive in supporting and celebrating local school hockey.
We hope the Leaside Cup continues for many years to come!