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Athletes honour fallen hockey player at 2019 Matt Cook Memorial Cup

By Admin User on April 23, 2019

Sledge hockey players are paying tribute to Matt Cook, a hockey player who passed away due to cancer, in the the 15th Annual Western Canada Sledge Hockey Tournament. The tournament was played on March 29 to 31 and also goes by a different name, The Matt Cook Memorial Cup. The sledge hockey tournament is open to all teams in Western Canada for Junior, Intermediate B and Intermediate C teams.

“This tournament attracts teams sometimes from as far away as Ontario. There’s certainly players that are here who might not come from communities that don’t have their own team [so] they come out by invitation. I heard today that there are people who’ve come as far as Winnipeg to be here to play in this tournament.”

Matt Cook’s Mother, Lynn Anderson Cook
Players competing hard

Matt Cook, a Junior A hockey player, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, when he was just 18 years old. The challenges he went through as a young adult fighting cancer, inspired the foundation that bears his name.

At such a young age, Matt faced 31 rounds of chemotherapy and near-annual surgeries. When cancer took his leg, he had to give up his hockey career.

Matt played Bantam and Midget AAA with the Canadian Athletic Club, and Junior A with the Bonnyville Pontiacs. When he lost his leg, he took up sledge hockey and trained until he made the Canadian national team. He helped Canada win bronze at the 2009 World Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Even after he learned his cancer was terminal, he attended Olympic training camp and planned to compete in the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics. Unfortunately, his health began to decline. The cancer was progressing too quickly, which meant he couldn’t attend. The Matt Cook Foundation was created in his memory after he passed away at the age of 22 on April 4, 2010, in Edmonton.

“This is an important tournament cause it signals of course the end of the sledge hockey tournament. But, a lot of times communities may only have enough players for one team and so [this is] an opportunity for them to all gather at the end of the year, from wherever they come from to be able to have some competition against other teams in their division.”

Lynn Anderson Cook on the importance of the tournament

The tournament saw the highest number of teams that have participated to date, with 19. The Matt Cook Foundation also had a 24-hour game at the Canadian Athletic Club in Edmonton on April 5 and 6. Donations from the game went to the Matt Cook Foundation.

Players watching the action



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