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Ball hockey tournament advancing cause of mental health

Published on

Jake Romphf

The Stephanie Shaw Memorial ball hockey tournament is returning this summer to raise money for and promote mental health initiatives.

Stephanie Shaw was a Northern Collegiate student and talented multi-sport athlete who took her own life in 2016. She was also a prominent voice who used her own struggles to increase mental health awareness.

The July 14 tournament will be held in the Canatara Park parking lot near the beach, with 100% of the proceeds supporting Sarnia Speaks and St. Clair Child and Youth Services.

It raised $3,000 last year and the goal is to surpass that, said coordinator Whitney Simpson.

“Sarnia Speaks really brings awareness to mental health,” she said. “It’s been something that has helped a lot of people talk about mental health and really let people know that (others) care.”

St. Clair Child and Youth provides supportive programs for children and families and “ is one of the biggest outlets for helping people in the community,” Simpson said.

The tournament’s goal is to have 12 ball hockey teams play across two divisions, up from eight teams last year, while advancing the goals that Shaw strived for, she added.

“It just really continues the conversation and continues to bring awareness to the issue. Hopefully, one day Sarnia will have the appropriate resources.”

Each team is allowed eight players and a goalie, with a minimum of two females per team. The tournament has prizes, a skills competition and features a Sarnia Speaks presentation from the “I’m 1 in 5” movement leader, Paulie O’Byrne.


Kim Shaw, Stephanie’s mother, said Sarnia needs more resources to help young people who are struggling, but things are changing.

“They have been in the last couple years because people are talking. I think that’s the main goal,” she said.

“There is so much out there for mental health that needs to be changed. It touches more people than you know.”

Shaw said the support for her and the tournament has been tremendous.

“I don’t know what I would do without the people in this community, because they’ve just been fabulous.”

Anyone in distress can call the Lambton Mental Health Service Distress Line, available 24/7 including holidays, at 519-336-3445, or the Lambton Mental Health Crisis Service at 1-800-307-4319.



WHAT: Stephanie Shaw Memorial Ball Hockey Tournament

WHEN: Saturday, July 14

WHERE: Canatara Park, parking lot beside the beach

DETAILS: $120 per team (Eight players, one goalie, minimum two girls) Two age groups – 12 to 15, and 16+

Register through or email [email protected]



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