Over the last few weeks Five Hole For Food, a street hockey tournament that raises money for local food banks, has been touring across Canada. Spearheaded by Richard Loat, and in its second year, they’ve stuck to a rigorous game schedule and have already visited St John’s, Halifax, Charlottetown, Saint John, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Edmonton. The team is now in the home stretch as they make their way to Victoria for tomorrow, and will be welcomed back home to Vancouver on Saturday with a game on Granville street.
I caught up with Richard as the team was driving through the Rockies this morning heading into their home stretch. He and his team of Jonathan Buyco, Victor Lo, and Lesley Chang have already traveled over 8,000kms and they’re not done just yet.
“It’s been tremendous,” said Richard from the car. “We set out to raise 20,000lbs of food and to surpass that goal by the time we hit Regina was just an indicator about how much this country loves hockey and loves giving back. The fact that we’re able to combine the two so successfully speaks for itself.” The campaign has in fact raised over 30,000lbs of food… and there are still two cities left.
They’ve been blogging their adventures, including a game on top of a ferry’s helipad and playing street hockey in Toronto on Canada Day, and helping local food banks in each city. “It’s just fun,” Richard added. “Everytime you put out sticks and a net, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, people love to play hockey.”
After being on the road since June 23rd, they have plenty of stories to tell and I have a feeling they all go something like this. “On the morning of our Ottawa game we got into town a little early so we decided to throw up the nets and put out some sticks,” Richard told me. “I was canvassing one of the guys walking by and I said ‘Hey do you want to come play hockey?’. He just said, “Do you even have to ask? It’s Canada! Can I borrow a stick?”
You can support Five Hole For Food in Victoria tomorrow at the Saanich Plaza starting at 12:00pm. You just need to bring your hockey stick and a donation for Mustard Seed, either non-perishable food items or cash. Online donations are also available anytime through the Five Hole For Food website.
Richard said the team was able to show the rest of the country a positive side of Vancouver hockey enthusiasm and wants to tell locals: “Hey Vancouver, we did you proud, now let’s finish this off.”
Returning to friends and loved ones, they are hoping to get the same kind of support from the hometown crowd. Head to the 800 block of Granville for 12:00pm on Saturday, July 9th for the last street hockey tournament, supporting the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. You can also purchase tickets for an exclusive Tweetup.
Follow Five Hole For Food on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube to view their coverage, pour through their photos, and see what this amazing team did just by playing hockey across Canada and giving back.