When Joe Brennan’s famed Kitchen Kup roller hockey tournament takes place at Eden Street Park in August, one of the common sights to see is young kids and teens leaning on the fence – dreaming of the day they could play.
Charlestown’s Jamie and Shannon Chambers noted that scene many times, and four years ago, decided to revive the kids roller hockey version – which they now call the Cookie Jar.
The Cookie Jar this year will take place on Saturday, July 28, starting at 8 a.m. at the Eden Street Rink (The Kitchen) and the Bryan McGonagle Rink (Ryan Field). The Chambers said so many kids were looking to play, and had no outlet any longer.
Many years ago the McGonagle family ran a tournament for kids, and another family ran one before that. However, those efforts faded away in time, but now that spirit is being renewed with the Cookie Jar.
“It’s something for the kids in the spirit of Charlestown going back as far as the Ann Considine at the Charlestown Rink and Joe McGonagle at Ryan Field,” he said. “Even the kids who have moved out with their parents come back for the day. It’s a day for the kids who are too young for the Kitchen Kup. You see the five-year-olds out there skating as hard as anyone. We knew all kids liked cookies, so we called it the Cookie Jar.”
Chambers said the first few years were a little slow, but now in the fourth year, they have kids and teams coming out of the woodwork. They expect this year’s version to be the best, and Chambers said he and his wife are very grateful for the many donors who are stepping up to support the tournament.
Street hockey, or roller hockey, has become the sport of summer in Charlestown over the decades – rivaling baseball at times. The sport has helped kids hone their skills – especially for stick handling and balance – for the upcoming winter. Chambers said he is glad that they can now have something official for the kids to practice for.
“The beauty of street hockey is that it’s not about speed so much as it’s about stick handling and passing,” he said. “If you have a good goaltender and good stickwork, you can win. Speed isn’t a factor because the court is so short.”
The kids will be divided into two divisions – the Morrissey Division for the older kids and the McGonagle Division for the younger kids.
The tournament is open to kids 5-17 and no one is turned away. The only cost is $10 for the T-Shirt.
For more information, e-mail Shannon Chambers at [email protected]