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Trip to Huntsville for Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships Like Coming Home for Walter Gretzky

Gretzky Connection Features Sports Memorabilia Auctions for CNIB Blind Youth Scholarships & Photo Contest to Capture Canadian Pond Hockey Culture

For Immediate Release
January 21, 2010


 "There's something special about playing on the pond - it takes you back to simpler times.  There's a purity in playing outdoors in the elements.  It's a place of dreams."

Walter Gretzky
 
1,700 Players will hit Canada's largest outdoor pond hockey surface in Hunstville, Ontario beginning January 29.
Huntsville, Ontario -- -- Walter Gretzky’s upcoming trip to Huntsville, Ontario for the 5th Annual Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships is like coming home again.

The allure of pond hockey remains as strong today as it was 40 years ago when neighbourhood kids would throng to Walter’s backyard rink to play with Wayne and his brothers.

"There's something special about playing on the pond - it takes you back to simpler times.  There’s a purity in playing outdoors in the elements and it’s a place of dreams," says Walter Gretzky.

The world’s most famous hockey Dad has been named Honorary Coach of The Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships which features more than 750 games to be contested in back-to-back weekends beginning Friday, Jan. 29th.  1,700 players will make the journey to Canada’s largest natural pond surface located on a massive six acre chunk of Sunset Bay at Huntsville, Ontario’s Deerhurst resort.

 Throughout the Open and the Master’s weekends (Jan. 29-31 & Feb. 5–7), tournament organizers will be staging a sports memorabilia auction, with all proceeds going to the Walter & Wayne Gretzky CNIB Blind Youth Scholarship Program.  On the event, Gretzky commented “It’s a great feeling to know that the Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships have chosen to support the Walter & Wayne Gretzky CNIB Blind Youth Scholarship program.  These hockey players are God’s angels in supporting our blind Canadian students as they continue their education and search for a career.”  Mr. Gretzky has been the CNIB’s ambassador for over 25 years, and has been instrumental in providing blind students with over 425 $3,000 scholarships throughout the years.

In celebrating Mr. Gretzky’s involvement, The CNPHC will also be hosting the ‘Take Your Best Shot’ photography contest, where Walter Gretzky will select one winning photo to be used as the ‘2011 Official Image of The Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships’.  While players will be taking their best shots at The Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships, all Canadian hockey fans are invited to take and submit a photo which truly captures the Canadian outdoor hockey experience.  Full contest details can be found at www.canadapondhockey.ca.

Neil Lumsden, Executive Director, Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships, says, “Walter Gretzky's rink is immortalized in sports history, and we're thrilled to host him here on our rink.  His involvement is a dream come true for us.  Walter has been an international ambassador to the game of hockey for many years."

The Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships are held at The Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, over the weekends of January 29 - 31, and February 5 - 7, 2010.   This year, the tournament will play host to over 260 teams from across North America, and in the past have played host to thousands of weekend warriors as well as names such as Bryan Trottier, Steve Larmer, Jim Cuddy, Scott Thornton, and Vinny Damphousse.


Spectator admission is free and encouraged for all the events. For team profiles and visitor information visit  www.canadapondhockey.ca.
 
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The 5th annual Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships presented by Bell Blackberry will be contested January 29-31, 2010 in Muskoka, Ontario, followed by the Masters Pond Hockey Championships, February 5-7.  Over 260 teams and close to 1,700 players will participate. The Championship takes place at The Deerhurst Resort, located in Hunstville, Ontario. The official Canadian Pond Hockey web site is www.canadapondhockey.ca.
 
For more information or to arrange interviews contact:
 
Neil Lumsden, 905-961.6030 neil@canadapondhockey.ca

Championship Headquarters: 3375 North Service Road, Suite A12-A15 Burlington, ON  L7N 3G2  905-336-0568

On site media contacts for opening weekend:

Chris Moore
905.719.1888
cmoore@okd.com

Gary Holloway
gary@canadapondhockey.ca
905.638.4226