Youth putting sticks together again next year

NANAIMO – A group of youths aim to make another attempt at beating the Guinness World Record for longest street hockey game.

A group of 40 Nanaimo-area youth played street hockey for 50 hours in June

A group of 40 Nanaimo-area youth played street hockey for 50 hours in June

A group of Nanaimo youths aim to make another attempt at beating the Guinness World Record for longest street hockey game.

In June, 40 people attempted to play non-stop for 105 hours and 17 minutes, but event organizers ended the game at the 50-hour mark – almost halfway to their goal – due to a rash of injuries.

“It was a tough call to make to pull the game,” said Tali Campbell, president of the Youth Sticking Together board of directors and a John Barsby Secondary School student. “The first question all the guys asked was, ‘Can we do it again next year?'”

Faced with this enthusiasm, the board agreed and the 2013 Longest Street Hockey Game takes place Aug. 9-13, 2013 at the Nanaimo Curling Centre.

The group learned some valuable lessons from this year’s game, such as keeping more medical supplies on hand, scheduling shifts based on each player’s needs and bringing in more medical personnel, including massage therapists.

Injuries included one broken ankle, someone who needed stitches and a whole lot of bruises and sore muscles.

“We know what we need for next year,” said Campbell, adding that the players, who started off worrying too much about scoring goals and playing competitively, also know what they need to bring to the table.

“At the end of the day, score does not matter, time matters,” he said. “In itself, 50 hours is an accomplishment to not overlook – it’s second-best in the world.”

Through its various fundraisers leading up to the event as well as money raised during the game, Youth Sticking Together is donating $6,000 to three community organizations – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island, Crimson Coast Dance Society and the Harewood Youth Ball Hockey League.

Campbell said next year’s charities of choice are B.C. Children’s Hospital, Kid’s Help Phone and Nanaimo Curling Centre’s youth program and the board hopes to do several fundraisers.

One of the goals for the organization was to show the community that youth can band together for positive reasons.

Campbell said everyone involved felt validated when people stopped by and congratulated them on their efforts.

“When people came in and told them they were doing a good job, it put smiles on their faces,” he said. “I think we’ve taken a step in the right direction.”

For more information about Youth Sticking Together and upcoming fundraisers, please go to www.youthstickingtogether.com.

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