Yellowknifers on Saturday chose to show their appreciation for members of the military by inviting them to hurl balls at each other.
A team from No 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group took the honours in the three-hour event, seeing off six rival teams in a tournament organized to thank members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
“We wanted to do something to recognize this vital part of our community and all that they have done for us, especially over these last two years,” said Century 21’s Kelly Vos, who operates a service dedicated to helping military personnel find homes in Yellowknife.
“Additionally, with what is happening in Russia and Ukraine, it has really brought home how the military never really rests,” she said.
Warrant Officer Michael May, a member of the Canadian Rangers’ victorious team, arrived in Yellowknife last summer.
“It was a unique experience, for sure, to participate in a dodgeball tournament at nearly 40,” May said.
“But it was fun, everyone was smiling, and age prevailed in this one.”
The Rangers even overcame the loss of their team organizer to a late thumb injury.
“We had to call in a replacement at the last minute, at the front door there,” said May. “And here we are.”
The tournament took place at the DND gym inside Yellowknife’s multiplex, where passing families drifted in to watch the unusual spectacle of an all-adult dodgeball contest.
“It was beyond anything I thought it could be,” said organizer Vos, who had help from sponsors Acasta and Air Tindi.
“We wanted to have something fun that would be crazy, and this is what came out of it. There was so much fellowship and playfulness, it was just great.”
“Seeing the community come out, the people here laughing and having a good time, it means a lot,” said May.
“It goes a long way to see people appreciate the military, and the military appreciates them for putting this on for us as well.”