In January of 2014, four members of the Niagara Paramedic Association (NPA) were driving back to Niagara after just finishing playing in an out-of-town emergency service hockey tournament. This was the last of several out-of-town tournaments the NPA hockey team had played in over the season. During the long trek home, the four young paramedics started to wonder why nobody had started an emergency service hockey tournament in Niagara, at that point the seed was planted.
With no experience in organizing a hockey tournament the paramedics began brainstorming and by the time they had arrived home they had booked ice time, contacted multiple teams, called hotels for accommodations and started organizing a raffle. This car ride would prove to be the first official meeting that would lead to the inaugural Niagara Paramedic Association Charity Hockey Tournament just two months later in March 2014. Now that there was a charity hockey tournament in place, the tournament organizers, of course, had to find a charity to support, and as fate would have it one fell into their laps.
One of the Niagara paramedics put forward his brother’s charity called “Troy’s Run”, they’re all about awareness and prevention for traumatic brain injuries. They have some great initiatives like giving hockey and bike helmets to kids and running baseline concussion testing for teams. The NPA tournament organizer decided this would be a great charity to get behind and the motivation for the tournament had gained momentum.
The first tournament in March of 2014 saw the NPA host 8 teams in a single division in Niagara Falls. The next year still not knowing quite what to expect, the tournament doubled in size to 16 teams and has continued to grow each year. Our 4th annual tournament was held in March 2017 and saw 24 teams throughout three divisions. This event has seen great success since its inauguration with a tremendous amount of support from the community, the volunteers and the players and promises to continue to grow in support of Troy’s Run.