Monday, 8 July 2013

Monday Motivators: Craig Styles and Andy Wigston

Sometime Sunday afternoon — perhaps around 4 p.m. — summer officially began for Craig Styles and Andy Wigston. That’s when the ice is finally cleaned at the West Edmonton Mall Ice Palace, the dressing rooms doors are closed for the last time, goodbye handshakes and hugs are exchanged, and — with one last look to make sure everything is just right — Styles and Wigston left the mall. And then their summer vacation begins. It has happened every Sunday in July for the two men since 1989. If Styles and Wigston have their way the tradition will carry on for many years to come.
Craig Styles in the middle with the red shirt

Styles is tournament chair of the Brick Invitational Super Novice Hockey Tournament. Wigston is the tournament’s director. Both employees of The Brick — Wigston is retired and Styles is vice-president of real estate — and were part of the planning process 24 years ago when Brick founder Bill Comrie wanted to start a tournament for nine and 10-year-olds. Styles and Wigston answered the bell. They have managed to produce, year after year, one of the best tournaments in North America. This year they had 14 teams playing with the Toronto Bulldogs winning Sunday’s final 3-1 over the B.C. Junior Canucks.

Andy Wigston
The tournament has seen many players go on to the National Hockey League, semi-pro and university and college hockey. Styles and Wigston are hoping many of the tournament’s alumni return next year for the 25th anniversary tournament. Styles said last week plans are in the works now for the 2014 edition. But I hope Styles and Wigston really don’t start thinking about that until, maybe, next Monday. Because after 18-hour days, countless games, attending to thousands of details, they certainly deserve a break. Well done, gentlemen.

1 comment:

Braden Hirsch said...

I commend these gentlemen for their volunteerism over an extended period of time.
I wonder though about the need for an elite hockey tourney for 9 & 10 year olds in July? I wonder if these children are ever allowed the time to try soccer, baseball or other summer sports.
I know that many have made it to the professional ranks but also know of many professionals who did not make Team Brick.