You never know where a good idea and a conversation between two old friends might go!
In 1985, Gary McQuillan read an article in Sports Illustrated about Gus Macker’s popular 3-on-3 driveway basketball tournament in the U.S. Gary mentioned the concept to his friend, Charlie McMane, and the two young men mulled over the idea of starting something similar – and yet quite different – in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
First of all, if it was to be a truly Canadian undertaking, the driveway sport-of-choice would have to be road hockey. The size of the ‘rink’ would be arbitrary, tennis balls would replace pucks, and the main ‘rule’ would be to have fun. Secondly, any proceeds from the venture would be donated to local youth charities.
Once the seed was planted, the idea quickly took on a life of its own. Soon another good friend, Tim Collins, jumped on board. Other volunteers joined the group, sponsors were recruited, and the first annual Roadbreakers Road Hockey Tournament became a reality – and a success – in 1985.
During its early years, with the help of many local sponsors, Roadbreakers donated the proceeds to several youth charities in the community. Then, in 1995, the Central Ontario Developmental Riding Program – Pride Stables was adopted as Roadbreakers charity of choice. For more information view our Pride Stables page or check out their website at www.pridestables.com.
Fast forward to 2015. Gary, Charlie and Tim now have children playing or volunteering in the event, as Roadbreakers prepares to celebrate its 30th annual 4 on 4 Road Hockey Tournament on May 2nd. Held each year, in a parking lot at the University of Waterloo, the tournament has grown steadily each year. In fact, it even held the title of the largest road hockey tournament in the world! To-date, more than 27,500 participants and volunteers have raised close to $380,000 for local youth charities.
Roadbreakers is a never-ending success story. Gary, Charlie and Tim still share a passion for the event and the Canadian grassroots sport of road hockey. In fact, they’re making a point of sharing their knowledge and two decades of experience to help other Canadian communities launch their own Roadbreakers Road Hockey Tournament.