As the 8th Annual Canadian Indoor Classic is about to get underway, it’s a great chance to reflect and look back at where it all began. In 2011 Shank had a desire to bring the international indoor hockey community a little closer, so he brought a few bright minds together and began to plan the first ever Canadian Indoor Classic, to be played in 2012. The goal was to create more opportunities for not only the local and national athletes to continue to train and play at a high level, but also to help develop all stakeholders in this sport by providing exposure to local umpires and officials to a high level of hockey. Shank was also motivated by his desire to give back to a sport that has provided him with so many amazing opportunities. “I wanted to be able to give back to the younger generations and create a tournament that they would be able to develop in as athletes and help them fall in love with the sport,” Shank said when looking back on how this tournament developed into one of the prominent indoor tournaments in Ontario.
Shank wanted this tournament to go beyond hockey and decided to use it as a way to give back to the greater good, while have a lot of fun in doing so. The Skills Competition was introduced, becoming a unique vessel for raising funds for charity. On every Saturday of CIC, all hockey is stopped and we join together to compete, cheer for, and be entertained, by a skills competition with competing athletes buying in for a chance to participate. All money that is raised during the event goes to a charity that the organizing committee has decided on each year. Shank thought that this was a great way to help support our hockey community and the individuals in it, “we felt that this would be something that the whole hockey community would be able to get behind and help support; it would be a way to help unify us all.” In the past we have partnered with charities and organizations that have had a direct link to groups or individuals in the hockey community and it is something we always hope to do. This year we are partnering again with Right to Play.
A lot of work goes into making this tournament possible, and we are always trying to improve year to year. Being able to provide athletes, officials, and umpires a place to compete and develop has been something we are most proud of. Keeping the standards high and playing highly competitive hockey is something we will always strive to do.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend, safe travels and good luck in the tournament!