Following two hard-fought 1-0 semi-final games, one of which was decided in a shootout, Club 24 defeated Club Rez 1-0 in the final to win the annual Kahnawake Winter Carnival broomball tournament at the Kahnawake Sports Complex.
“It was fun. It’s for the community, so you come out here to have fun with your friends,” said Dylan Stacey, following his team’s victory in the final. “It feels good to win, since we came up short last year,” he added. Stacey’s team was defeated 1-0 in the 2022 broomball tournament final.
Stacey certainly redeemed himself in this year’s tournament. Club 24 did not allow a single goal throughout the entire tournament, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 8-0 through their five games, which included a 1-0 victory over Team Ryan in the semi-final to advance to the final.
“I wanted to get to the final,” said Kevin Simon of Team Ryan about his team’s semi-final defeat. But he was not too disappointed with the loss. “We lost 1-0, so it’s nothing to really cry about,” he added. However, the goal against in the semi-final was the only goal that Team Ryan allowed throughout the entire tournament. They won all three of their round-robin games by a combined score of 9-0.
The broomball tournament was a success once again, as it has been for a long time. The tournament always brings together community members and strives to be inclusive for all ages and genders.
“It’s a long-standing sport within the Winter Carnival,” said Wahsontiio Montour, program manager at the Kahnawake Youth Center (KYC), which organizes the carnival every year. “As soon as we put out our calendar, it is immediately sold out.”
The tournament drew in a sizable pool of participants, but it is not the only notable event at the Winter Carnival. As always, the carnival began with the glow-in-the-dark day on Monday, always one of the highlights.
“We turn our entire centre dark and we turn on the black lights,” Montour said. All of the day’s activities, such as fitness programs, after-school programs, and sporting events, were incorporated into glow-in-the-dark day. “We start the whole carnival off with fun, and then it continues with fun.”
The organization of the carnival was much less complicated this year, thanks to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’re allowed to have more people in one room, which brings a lot more families together,” said Cheyanne McComber, community events coordinator at the KYC. “So now we’re just rolling. We’re just going with it and making the best of what we have and what we can still put on.”