Tournament time in Colchester

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Annual events in Truro, Brookfield set to kick off today

TRURO - It's that time of year again in Colchester County.

The holidays bring times of fun, family and food. But for many Colchester families, it also means time for minor hockey.

The annual KFC Christmas Tournament in Truro and Debert and the Phil Sears Memorial Friendship Tournament in Brookfield kick off today.

Both tournaments carry sparkling reputations for being well-run events, which are fun forplayers and their families alike.

"I think with it being held in a rural area, there's a nice community feel," South Colchester minor hockey president Kathy Weatherbee said of the Phil Sears. "It's not far from the city or the Valley for people to travel so it's a good location."

There is no admission to attend either event, with both featuring 50/50 and other prize draws. Both events also feature hospitality rooms open to everyone. The Phil Sears also includes a silent auction.

Ellie Shipley, an organizer of the KFC tournament, said those are attractive features for families.

"I know some tournaments you have to pay up to $20 per person to get in and the hospitality room is only for volunteers," she said. "Ours is open to everybody and that makes a big difference for people."

Thirty-three teams will compete in the 34th edition of the KFC tournament, an event for rep teams. Those entries are spread out over atom A, peewee A, AA and AAA, bantam A and AA and midget A divisions.

The number of teams is down one from last year's event.

The ninth annual Phil Sears tournament, an event for house league teams, has 14 squads ready to hit the ice in novice, bantam and midget age groups. The number of entries is down from 21 in 2012.

Weatherbee said she feels the drop in numbers is due to there being other options open to teams over the holidays.

"When we started nine years ago, there wasn't many tournaments over Christmas," Weatherbee said. "There are a lot of tournaments now."

Shipley agreed and added the holidays are a busy time for people.

"Some people just don't want to travel," she said.

Both events are run by teams within the association. Those teams, in turn, are given the proceeds from the tournaments. The KFC tournament is being looked after by the Truro Pye Chevrolet Bearcats peewee AAA team while the Phil Sears is being co-run by the Colchester Cyclones bantam girls and the Brookfield Elks midget A squad.

Weatherbee said players do their share of running the tournaments.

"They do things like running the clock, so it's great that they're involved in the process."

On Twitter: @tdnmatt


Geographic location: Colchester, Truro

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