Abbott counting down to CCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
Tickets on sale next week, sponsors needed
TWhat promises to be the most exciting basketball event to hit the Montreal region in more than 20 years will tip off in just over two weeks at John Abbott College in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.
the English CEGEP won the rights to host the 2013 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Basketball National Championship last year, and, according to Athletic Director Steve Shaw, almost everything is ready for the tournament that will take place from March 1416.
“We’ve put in extra lighting and a new scoreboard, we’ve had the gym painted, the floors redone and we’ll bring in new bleachers that will increase our seating capacity from 600 to over 1,100,” Shaw said, noting the tournament is like Canada’s own March Madness at the college level.
The last time John Abbott hosted the CCAA tournament was in 1996.
As official hosts the college will welcome eight colleges from five conferences across the country; two from British Columbia, two from Alberta, one from Ontario and two from Quebec, as well as the John Abbott Islanders Men’s basketball team, which automatically makes the tournament lineup as the host college’s team.
More than 3,000 spectators are expected to attend the three-day tournament that will take place on three gyms and will conclude with a gold medal game at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 16.
The logistics of organizing an event of this magnitude have been more time consuming than Shaw expected.
“According to the rules, all teams, including the host team, must stay at one host hotel. We went with the Holiday Inn Pointe-Claire because they had a lot to offer. We also have to put 12 referees and three assigners at the same hotel, so we went with The Château Vaudreuil,” Shaw explained. Additionally, organizers have booked practice court time for the two teams that make it to the gold medal game at the newly completed Centre multisports.
One area of organization not bringing in the expected numbers is corporate spon- sorship, which Shaw admits is a surprise. “We counted on help we haven’t gotten and sponsors we haven’t gotten,” he said, adding, “A lot of smaller businesses have pitched in to help but not as many big ones, but we’re still hopeful more will come forward.”
The exposure each business will receive will be impressive, Shaw noted.
In addition to drawing a big crowd, each tournament game will be webcast to fans across Canada and beyond.
And beyond sponsorship, organizers are looking for restaurants willing to host individual teams for a meal to help each team keep its travel costs down.
Meanwhile, the organizing committee has also opted to blaze a new trail by making the tournament ecofriendly. To do so, they have adopted a strict set of measures that must be followed in each area, something Shaw admits has been more of a challenge than he first thought.
“Every time we come up with a new idea our Green Team puts the brakes on long enough to make sure we’re doing it the right way - like using the right kind of paper for a bake sale,” he said with a laugh. The college also hired an eco-advisory company from Montreal.
In addition, since it is a men’s event, ProCure, a non-profit organization promoting education, treatment and research of prostate cancer in Québec will also be on hand to help raise awareness.
Tournament tickets, which will go on sale on March 1, can be purchased online or by calling 514 457-6610, ext. 5321. For a complete schedule and information on the competing teams, or to purchase tickets, go to the official championship website at www.ccaa.ca/mensbasketball2013.
To become a tournament sponsor, or to sponsor a team at your restaurant, call Shaw at 514 457-6610, ext. 5322.
Principal Coleen Turner stands under the library window soon to be hung with 10 student-created stained glass windows.