In its 10th edition, the McCauley Cup is turning into a family affair for one Edmonton family.
The annual friendly game between Edmonton police officers and local kids attracts dozens of participants to the McCauley community rink.
Ruby Burns’s grandkids started participating a few years ago and now the game has become an annual tradition for the family.
Burns is clearly cold, but she’s still smiling and cheering behind the boards at the outdoor rink Friday afternoon.
“That’s my crew,” she shouts as five kids wobble onto the ice for their shift.
They’re her grandkids, all between the ages of six and nine. Burns started bringing the kids to the event a few years ago after the kids were invited by a community organizer.
“The kids love it. They come to the rink all the time to play shinny. They’re always here,” said Burns.
As she clutches her hot cup of coffee, she’s laughing as the kids dip and dive between towering Edmonton police players.
10th annual event
The cup has been held at the McCauley outdoor skating rink since 2008. Initially, the event was pitched by a beat officer as a way for downtown police to improve their image within the McCauley community.
Now, a decade later, organizer Const. Andrew Melney says it’s grown steady every year.
“This started with one household … now we prepare for about 50 kids. We’re pretty proud of that,” said Melney.
The event often features surprise visits from Oilers alumni or current players. This year, Leon Draisaitl stopped by to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
To mark the 10th anniversary, Mayor Don Iveson proclaimed Dec. 28 McCauley Cup Day.
Ruby Burn’s grandkids make up their own hockey line at the tournament, no need for extra players.
Nine-year-old Xavier is the captain, and his main goal is to make sure everyone gets a turn with the puck.
“It’s fun because we get to be together and pass the puck to each other and let each other score,” he said after one of their shifts.
His influence is strong on his little cousin, six-year-old Destin.
“You get to pass the puck to other people and have fun and score goals and let other kids score,” he said.
Burns says the kids will be back next year, and she’ll gladly shiver by the boards as long as the kids want to play.
“They love the community, they love to skate. It’s fun for them to do stuff like that,” said Burns. “It’s getting bigger [with] more community involvement, which is great for them.”
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