GANDER, NL – Within the Gander Minor Hockey Association, Matthew Sargent was loved.
To honour his memory, the association will hold the first annual Matthew Sargent Memorial Midget Hockey Tournament from Jan. 19-21.
Matthew tragically passed at the age of 14 on May 21, 2017.
Suzanne Tiller, parent rep with Gander Minor Hockey and one of the event organizers, said the tournament was something the association had to do.
“Matthew was a really important part of our association, he was loved by everybody – parents, children, coaches – and this is something we had to do for him, and the players as well because they wanted a way to honour him,” Tiller said.
With eight teams lined up to play, including two from Gander, the opening ceremonies will take place on Jan. 20 with a banner being raised to retire #8, Matthew’s number.
The association will also honour the memory of Glen Furey, who died of cancer on Christmas Day 1979, by raising a second banner.
Glen grew up in the Gander minor hockey system and played for the bantam and midget all-star teams. His sweater, #27, was retired by the minor hockey association after his passing.
“But nothing (on this level) was ever done to recognize that,” said Tiller. “We thought it would be a nice to do the same thing for him.”
Stephanie Winsor, president of the Gander Minor Hockey Association, applauded the effort being put into the tournament.
“We have a very big hockey community in Gander, so it’s important to recognize that this tournament is very important to the hockey community,” she said.
“We’ve had great support from other communities around the province in sending in teams, embracing this tournament and giving us the ability to do this for the family.”
All proceeds from the tournament will go towards the Matthew Sargent Foundation.
The foundation aims to empower children to change the world. The foundation will do its best to spread kindness and awareness through foundation funded programs. A Facebook page will be set up with more information over the coming weeks. To donate to this foundation please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.