Part of its goal is to get people involved in physical activity by participating in three-on-three basketball.
“It’s (also) a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada to fund research and care for the cure,” said Hoops for Hope co-founder Shaun Nechvatal.
Nechvatal and his wife Katarina started the event nearly a decade ago.
People of all ages and skill levels came out to play, including Shaun’s sister Sharlene McNairn. She got involved because cystic fibrosis affects the people she loves.
“I have two nephews, Dominic and Benjamin Nechvatal,” she said. “They were diagnosed as infants through the new infant screening in Saskatchewan. It’s near and dear to my heart.”
According to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, cystic fibrosis — which affects mainly the digestive system and lungs — is the most common fatal genetic disease among children and young adults in Canada.
Since the inception of the event, Shaun and Katarina continue to be amazed by the support for the event and the tournament’s growth.
“We ran with the idea,” Shaun said. “Here we are nine years later with 45 teams, breaking a fundraising record with $65,000.”
Wheelchair basketball was added to the mix two years ago, a decision those involved with wheelchair basketball are thrilled with. The new competitors are excited to showcase their style of playing.
“To be invited into this tournament and for the people to see the game, it’s awesome,” said high-performance wheelchair basketball coach Katie Miyazaki. “To see that some people have disabilities and some don’t have disabilities — it’s open to anyone. I think it’s a lot of fun.”
The event has raised roughly $400,000 in nearly 10 years, funding research to extend the life expectancy of those diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Shaun and Katarina say they will not be stopping the fundraising or the basketball any time soon.