Vancouver Island street hockey players persevered and set a new world record.
Youth Sticking Together achieved its ultimate goal and earned a place in the book of Guinness World Records for playing street hockey for 105 hours, 44 minutes.
Players broke the record Tuesday evening at 5:17 p.m. at the Lions Sports Centre lacrosse box on Wall Street. The game had faced off Friday morning at 8 a.m. and the teams played around the clock, in the sun and in the dark. How did they do it?
“Dedication, pride, passion, all those words,” said Tali Campbell, event organizer. “At 105 hours, it doesn’t matter who got the prettiest goal or who’s got the most goals or the most saves. It’s about a team coming together and supporting each other.”
The final score was 1,728-1,381, with Team University Village Mall topping Team Coastal Community Credit Union. But the previous world record of 105 hours, 17 minutes was the only stat the players cared about. It motivated the teams all the way through their marathon effort.
“It was so hard,” said Kylie Paloposki, one of the players. “I broke into tears more than once. It was so painful, and sleeping on the floor and waking up in the middle of the night to play for three hours, that wasn’t very fun.
“You just have to think about the end and think about what you’re working for and think about the accomplishment that you’re going to have made once you finish.”
There was adversity, with players suffering heat stroke, scrapes, bruises, blisters and one of the players, Brighton Bartlett, getting sidelined with a serious knee injury.
It was motivation for guys like Greg Nelson to keep limping their way through shifts.
“I was like, ‘Well, I’ve just got a minor injury, he’s been to the hospital, so I need to push through,’” Nelson said.
At the record-breaking moment, both teams celebrated like champions, then played on to put the record a little further out of reach. Campbell said the moment brought tears to his eyes.
“It really makes you proud and it makes you believe that you can do anything you want,” he said.
He said the experience will inspire the young players in their future endeavours, whatever those may be.
“It teaches you to stick with what you’re doing, not to give up,” Paloposki said. “If you work hard at something, you’ll achieve it.”
The event raised money for Big Brother Big Sisters Central Vancouver Island, Canuck Place hospice and Victoria’s Topaz Box revitalization project. Youth Sticking Together might be done with breaking hockey records, said Campbell, but he hopes the organization will continue in some capacity. Rick Nelson, one of the board members, had a suggestion to that effect:
“Next year can we try my idea of the world’s longest lawn bowling game?”