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Half-pints, half-court, half turn-out?

By Julie Argles

“Half” was the key word in a basketball tournament played at Ryerson this past weekend.

The second annual “Half-Court for Half Pints” was held on Saturday in the Kerr Hall gymnasium. The 3-on-3 basketball tournament was a fund-raising event in support of The Children’s Aid Society Foundation.

Unfortunately, “Half-Court for Half Pints” had less than half of the expected 40 teams show up to participate.

“I’m very disappointed that people didn’t come through,” said tournament organizer Leona Mouliakis.

Mary Gardiner, a volunteer at the tournament, was also disappointed and a bit confused with the turn out. “So many people called about the tournament..but none came out,” she said. 

Organizers blame the beautiful weather on Saturday as one of the main reasons for the low attendance. As well, Mouliakis points out that participants did not have to pay the $40 tournament fee beforehand, which created no sense of commitment to the tournament. 

This year is the first time a fee has been charged to play. “We had the same tournament last year but it was run as an intramural event,” Mouliakis said. 

Even with only 13 teams participating, Mouliakis made it clear the tournament would run and “everyone who’s here is going to have a good time.”

People who did join seemed to be looking for just that. Participant Lath Thirakul said that besides “the exercise and the workout,” he was hoping to have fun supporting the “Half Pints.”

Organizers provided food, prizes and draws for such items as T-shirts and water bottles. Anna Gardiner, another volunteer, even got the restaurant that she works at to donate a prize of a dinner for two. 

The money that was raised goes to a program within the Children’s Aid Society called Children Living In Violent Environments (CLIVE).

“CLIVE was developed by the Children’s Aid Society to help children who witness violent crime,” said Tina Murphy, Special Events Communications Co-ordinator for the Children’s Aid Society.

Murphy explains the program more specifically focuses on children who have seen their mothers get abused. “The moms are able to get help but the children are left to deal with the situation on their own,” Murphy said.

Murphy hopes the 3-on-3 tournament will become an annual event.

Mouliakis is also optimistic. The poor showing this year has not dampened her view that “next year will be better.” She stresses the fact that “last year was great. We had a lot of people come out.”

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