Boxing Day classic raises funds for mental health

The seventh annual Oak Bay Xmas Cup skates into Oak Bay Rec Dec. 26

Team Festivus triumphed over Team Feliz Navidad 8-7 in a shootout thriller in last year’s Oak Bay Boxing Day tournament that raised about $10

Team Festivus triumphed over Team Feliz Navidad 8-7 in a shootout thriller in last year’s Oak Bay Boxing Day tournament that raised about $10

Keep the cheer going after Christmas with a little live hockey action Boxing Day.

The seventh annual Oak Bay Xmas Cup features Team Christmas  (two-time champions), Team Hanukkah (three-time champions) Team Festivus (last year’s winners and Team Feliz Navidad.

“It’s all about having fun,” said organizer Sean Tackaberry. “All of our friends and family that have moved away to different parts of the province, country or world, know they can count on seeing everyone on Boxing Day at the OBXC. It’s quickly become a holiday tradition for a lot of us.”

The fun tourney started at Oak Bay Rec. in 2009 with two teams of friends who went to Oak Bay High together.

“It has since grown to 64 players of mixed ages and skill levels, split into four teams,” Tackaberry. said “We have teenagers playing Junior B, all the way up to grandpas still strapping on the blades, and everything in between.”

Games run Dec. 26 from 3:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.

“The purpose of the Oak Bay Xmas Cup is to get friends and family together, have a good time, and do something positive for our community,” Tackaberry said. “The games are all about fun, making sure all skill levels get to enjoy themselves. We wear fun and wacky jerseys, have a raffle, silent auction and even a family skate for the kids in between the games.”

The tournament has raised more than $26,000 for various charities, selected each year by causes affecting players, family or friends of the tournament.

This year’s proceeds will be donated to the Courtnall Celebrity Classic Society and the Archie Courtnall Centre in support of mental health care and services.

“We realized if we were all going to meet and enjoy this day together, we might as well do something positive with it,” Tackaberry said. “The money we’ve raised has helped a lot of people and causes. It’s something that everyone involved with the tournament can be proud of.”

Family, friends and the general public are welcome to watch and enjoy holiday cheer in the lounge.