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Saskatoon gamer competing in Florida to raise funds for children’s hospital

Saskatoon gamer competing in Florida for children’s hospital
WATCH ABOVE: A Saskatoon gamer is heading to Florida for a chance to support the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation.

According to Nolan Blackstock, he’s been gaming for as long as he could talk.

This week, Blackstock will travel to Orlando, Fla., to compete at the Extra Life United gaming competition.

Through tabletop and video games, the tournament raises money for kids treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

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It’s Blackstock’s third year competing for the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“The brackets that I’m going to be in are Down Force, Sonic Mania, Tricky Towers and Rivals of Aether,” Blackstock explained.

This year, $150,000 is up for grabs, split among the top winners.

Last year, Blackstock made it into the top 16 of more than 100 competitors. He donated more than $7,000 to the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, which is slated to open next year.

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“The money that comes from Children’s Miracle Network allows us to purchase equipment for the highest needs, whether that’s research [or] specific equipment pieces,” said Sash Broda, manager of development and engagement at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“Finding a way to turn a hobby that I had into a way to also give back to the community has been very rewarding,” Blackstock said.

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The gaming event coincides with Children’s Hospitals Week, which brings champion children and representatives from 170 children’s hospitals to Florida to network.

“Being able to form that connection with the kids is something that drives us to continue to work very hard for Extra Life,” Blackstock said.

Last year, the Saskatchewan Extra Life Guild raised $50,000 for the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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“It brings out the very best of the gaming community to be able to see that positive difference that people are able to make. Being young at heart is something that a lot of gamers have and so there’s often that connection,” Blackstock said.

Extra Life United will run from March 7 to 10.