Local broomball player off to world championships

  • Oct. 19, 2016 3:09 p.m.

A local woman is part of a team of Albertans gearing up to play at the 2016 World Broomball Championships in Regina.

The event is slated to run Oct. 31st to Nov. 4th.

Local broomball players are excited for the opportunity, and also for spreading the word about the many benefits of the sport in general, said team member Leanne Landry, who is heading to the event as part of the Alberta Rage mixed team. Landry also hopes to start up a local broomball team in the next couple of years.

“I’ve been playing broomball since I was 14, and I would definitely like to bring it to the youth of Red Deer,” she said, adding there currently is a Edmonton broomball team and a Calgary team as well, of which she is a member.

“It’s a great sport,” she said, adding it’s an excellent means of getting and staying in great shape.

As to the coming championship in Regina, Landry said there will be 48 teams (780 athletes) from around the world participating at the event.

Four members of the Calgary Outlaws, of which she is a member, will be heading to Regina to play for the aforementioned Alberta Rage.

“Normally we would just go as the Calgary Outlaws, but we are playing in a mixed division this year,” she explained, adding team members are always looking to bolster awareness of their sport. “If you know broomball, you love broomball.

“There are a lot of Canadian teams from coast to coast that are participating,” she said, adding they’re also coming from all across the globe including countries such as Australia, China, Switzerland and Japan.

According to Wikipedia, broomball is a recreational ice game originating in Canada and played in certain other countries. It is played in a hockey rink, either indoors or outdoors, depending on climate and location.

In a game of broomball there are two teams, each consisting of six players – a goaltender and five others. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opponent.

Goals are scored by hitting the ball into the opponent’s net using the broom. Tactics and plays are similar to those used in sports such as ice hockey, roller hockey and floorball.

Players hit a small ball around the ice with a stick called a ‘broom’.

The broom may have a wooden or aluminum shaft and has a rubber-molded triangular head similar in shape to that of a regular broom (or, originally, an actual corn broom with the bristles either cut off or covered with tape). Players wear special rubber-soled shoes instead of skates, and the ice is prepared in such a way that it is smooth and dry to improve traction.

According to Rick Przybysz in an article posted on Broomball.ca, “This sport brings together the community as all have a genuine interest in the competition. Throughout the years this ‘gathering’ of people has been a common thread within the culture of the game. From the festivals of 1903, to the church leagues of the 20’s and 30’s right to the competitive leagues of the 21st century, broomball continues to draw people from all cultures to enjoy this game.”

Landry, who is also active in a number of other activities and sports including soccer, said the sport is more prevalent in the eastern and central Canada, but that’s exactly what she wants to change – she wants to see more people in general introduced to the sport, which she said is also an affordable one to get into as well.

“It’s a great workout. It’s an upper body and cardio workout, too. When you shoot the ball, it’s definitely good for your back as well.

“Anybody that is looking to get active – it’s great. If you can find something that you enjoy, too. It’s also a second support group – anyone looking to make friends, anyone looking to shed a couple of extra pounds and get active – broomball is definitely a great choice.”

For more information, check out www.facebook.com/worldsregina2016 and www.regina2016worldbroomballchampionship.com.

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

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