Ab­bott coun­ting down to CCAA Men’s Basketball Cham­pion­ship

Ti­ckets on sale next week, spon­sors nee­ded

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

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.

Spon­sor­ship lag­ging

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.

Eco­friend­ly tour­na­ment

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.

PHO­TO KRIS­TI­NA EDSON

Prin­ci­pal Co­leen Tur­ner stands un­der the li­bra­ry win­dow soon to be hung with 10 student-crea­ted stai­ned glass win­dows.

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