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World Para Hockey Championship committee named 2023 Moose Jaw Group of the Year

Organizers put together high-quality world-level tournament in quick fashion, continuing to put community in positive light as host of elite events
Marcy Ramage with the 2023 World Para Hockey Championship organizing committee accepts the Group of the Year Award on Tuesday night.

When the International Paralympic Committee announced last spring that Moose Jaw had been awarded a last-minute bid to host the World Para Hockey Championship, it was time for a whole host of folks to get to work.

And work they did, with dozens of individuals putting in a ton of volunteer hours to help prepare for an event that was happening in only 70 days time.

What they accomplished was nothing short of amazing, as teams from all over the world and organizers with Hockey Canada had nothing but praise for the host committee’s work getting things going keeping things running in near perfect order.

And now those efforts have been recognized.

The World Para Hockey Championship organizing committee was named the 2023 Moose Jaw Group of the Year at the Moose Jaw Events Centre on Saturday night, an honour that committee chair Marcy Ramage was exceptionally proud of.

“It’s amazing, truly the whole committee put in a lot of work towards this,” Ramage said. “We were honoured to be a part of this committee and we had a super group of volunteers, we really couldn’t have done it without them.  And we thank the fans who were also part of a great event that was really a part of history. It was an honour.”

The tournament quickly captivated the community last May, as nations from all over the world descended on Moose Jaw and did their part to help make the event what it became. That included visits to schools, plenty of time in the community and exactly the kind of promotion that an organizing committee can use to build a special show.

That all led to thousands of fans filling the Events Centre for games, including a packed house for the Canada and United States match-ups in the round robin and final. The U.S. went on to defeat Canada for the gold medal in front of close to 4,000 fans.

“There was just so much community action with the players going into businesses and in and out of the Events Centre,” Ramage said. “It was truly meaningful for all the fans to have met the players and to see the adversity they’ve been through, it showed how each of us need to be thankful for each day. I’m just so honoured to be a part of what truly was history.”

The tournament was the first of it’s kind not only in Moose Jaw but in all of Saskatchewan, meaning all the set-up and preparation was from the ground up. But the dedication and effort paid off with a wildly successful tournament.

“We put a lot of hours in and there were a lot of text messages and e-mails going back and forth, but it was so worth it,” Ramage said, “We’d definitely do it again, it was such an awesome event.”

Also nominated for 2023 Group of the Year were Journey to Hope, Moose Jaw Diversified Services and the staff of Spike Grooming.

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