BRANDON – The first installment of the Investors Group BIRT Cup under the Brandon University (BU) Bobcats’ banner was a success.
The alumni/charity tournament at the Wheat City Golf Course on Friday, July 13 raised $29,000 for several sports-related community initiatives.
The funding will go towards the Boyd Stadium football fields project, the Brandon Boxing Club, the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex and a newly established scholarship award for Brandon University student-athletes.
“Our Bobcat BIRT Cup organizing committee is proud to give back to worthwhile causes,” said BU Athletic Director Russ Paddock. “We had great representation from athletic alumni and outstanding support through our positive relationships with the corporate community.”
“Investors Group’s Western Manitoba Regional Office was proud to be the lead sponsor of the 2018 Bobcat BIRT Cup and we applaud the support this golf tournament provides to the local sports community,” said Dennis Hunt, Executive Senior Financial Consultant with Investors Group. “We have had a longstanding partnership with Brandon University over the years, supporting multiple projects including the construction of the Healthy Living Centre and the growth of the BU Athletics program. We are pleased to be associated with a post-secondary institution that prides itself on being at the forefront of education in western Manitoba and provides the best student-athlete experience as possible.”
Brandon University Athletics took over the tournament from Bobcat hockey alum Scott Hlady, who ran the BIRT Cup independently for 10 years.
Hlady and his foursome of Dwayne Gylywoychuk, David Anning and Jody Norminton captured the 2018 championship on a count back after finishing in a three-way tie for top spot at 14-under.
“Winning the prestigious trophy and passing the BIRT Cup torch onto the Bobcats was a special moment,” said Hlady.
“I know the tournament is in good hands moving ahead and I am excited to defend the title next year.”
The business community extended a huge helping hand to the Bobcats with 70 sponsors supporting the tournament.
A number of pro athletes also donated autographed items that were put towards a raffle fundraiser. Bobcat Sports Wall of Famer Mike McEwen, Canadian Football League player Landon Rice, Matt Calvert of the National Hockey League’s (NHL’s) Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues NHL defenceman Joel Edmundson and Stanley Cup champion Devante Smith-Pelly of the NHL’s Washington Capitals made contributions.
Brandon University hockey alumnus Kit Harrison won the raffle’s grand prize — a Vegas Golden Knights’ Travel Package. Harrison’s trip includes flight, hotel and two tickets to watch the Knights face the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 22, 2019.