Many of the U13 and U15 girls who will compete at the inaugural MK23 Memorial Tournament later this summer will likely have little to no idea about the very special person the event will be honouring.
That's quite alright.
From the sounds of things, there will be a more than ample supply of former teammates and long-time friends, mostly competing in the Open Women's Division, who will be on hand to share their stories and memories.
"First and foremost, we're doing this for Mel (Mélisa Kingsley)," noted Mike McGaughey, Kingsley's most prevalent coach during the time of her illustrious career with the Sudbury Lady Wolves, a minor hockey stretch that was capped off with Esso Cup gold and bronze medal performances, prior to committing to the Ottawa Gee Gees U Sports program.
"The hockey is part of it, but this is a legacy for Mélisa," he added.
Scheduled for the weekend of July 22nd to 24th at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, the tournament is being offered to U13, U15, U18 and Open Women's entries, with the game play envisioned as providing something a little different for female hockey talent that might maintain at least some level of on-ice and off-ice training throughout the summer.
"I don't necessarily see this event as more of a training item but rather a break from their summer training," noted lead organizer Darryl Williamson, who has teamed up with McGaughey and his two daughters (Meagan and Taylor) as well as former teammate and Women's Hockey Academy coach Jamie Ricci to help promote and administer the new fundraiser in support of the Mélisa Kingsley Memorial Scholarship Fund.
"These girls already go to the rink with their skills coach, they go to the rink with whoever is running programs and it's all business there, all the time," Williamson continued. "This gives them an opportunity to go out with their friends and have some fun."
"It's a little bit of a breather."
While much of the interest to date has been locally generated, Williamson noted that he has received enquiries from Timmins, New Liskeard, Sault Ste Marie as well as some individual players interested in coming up from Burlington and Brampton and other areas down south.
"I think getting the first year off the ground, getting the ball rolling will help draw teams in the future," he said. "It's growing from Sudbury and out."
All of which speaks closely to one of the young women who helped form one of the most productive and well-tenured trios that the Sudbury Lady Wolves family of teams has ever seen.
"It was really important to us to try and get all of the girls together who shared Mélisa's passion for hockey and try and help develop the girls game of hockey," suggested Meagan McGaughey.
For more information, kindly logon on to "https://www.womenshockeyacademy.com/mk23-tournament", or contact Darryl Williamson directly, either via email (email@example.com) or by cell phone at (705) 920-1437.
The MK23 Memorial Tournament is thankful for the generous support of their sponsors: Plan A Long-Term Care; Toppers Pizza and Stark Hockey.