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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

18th annual Bill Jones tournament a success

by Kyle Reid

Over the weekend, members of the Jones family hosted the 18th annual Bill Jones Sr. 3-on-3 hockey tournament at the Essex Centre Sports Complex.

Every year, the tournament brings players and spectators, of all ages and sizes, together through a love of hockey and sport. This year, 75 teams registered to participate in the fun, family-friendly, 3-on-3 hockey tournament.

The Essex community never fails to come out to support the tournament. This year, a record 75 teams competed, including 48 senior men’s teams. Also, this year, the tournament continued to feature a girl’s division with players from the Essex, Harrow, and Belle River minor hockey programs.

Smiles were plentiful amongst skaters and spectators as they enjoyed the fun scrimmage games. The relaxed and playful atmosphere, however, didn’t take away from the great causes supported by the tournament.

The fun, 3-on-3 tournament was created to honour Bill Jones Sr., who was an active volunteer in local youth activities and sports. The proceeds from the event, annually, go to support various causes throughout the community, including supporting Essex Minor Baseball and Essex Minor Hockey, among other good-will charitable causes.

“It always gives back to the community,” long-time tournament volunteer Dave Kigar said. “We hear about sad stories in our area, people maybe lose a loved one, or someone is sick in the hospital and can’t go back-and-forth to London; we always like to give money towards anyone who is really in need.”

And while it is too early to tell how much may have been raised, Kigar estimated the total could be anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000, all of which goes back into the community.

“That’s what’s so nice about it, every single dollar goes back into the community one way or another,” Kigar said, noting that it takes a significant amount of volunteer effort to pull off the tournament as it continues to grow each year.

The tournament is a fun and charitable conclusion to the local competitive and recreational hockey scene each year. Winners of the tournament received a small prize, but, more importantly, they win bragging rights amongst their friends. The winners of the senior tournament walked away with a comedic wrestling-style championship belt to celebrate the accomplishment. 

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