Youth descend on Montreal for annual Classic Hoops tournament
Forty youth basketball teams, comprised of 500 athletes from across Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, are in Montreal this weekend for the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Classic Hoops tournament.
It’s a three-day fundraising event organized by the West End Sports Association and the YMCA to raise money for underprivileged families.
“It started in the NDG YMCA as a little local tournament just for the community,” explains co-organizer Shawn White, “and then it grew.”
The tournament gives young players a chance to show off their skills, and win some great prizes.
But it’s more than just a way to get kids playing basketball. Organizers try to create opportunities for young people to get experience in a wide range of activities by volunteering at the tournament.
“Some of the kids are doing photography, some are doing videography, some are doing score clock,” White explains. “We wanted to involve all the youth in the event.”
He stresses that it’s about connecting kids.
“It just brings all kids together, from all walks of life — black, white, French, English. It doesn’t really matter. Sports is one of those things that brings everybody together.”
The kids are 19 and under, from schools and sports organizations, and each team pays an entry fee. Any team who can’t afford the fee, which can go as high as $400 depending on the age, gets help to raise the cash.
Last year they managed to raise around $16,000, but this year they’re aiming for $20,000.
“We’re just trying to raise as much as we can,” White laughs.
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