Future of slo-pitch tournament uncertain

The Revelstoke Glacier Challenge Slo-Pitch Tournament board is stepping down.

-Marissa Tiel

After 30 years, the future of the Revelstoke Glacier Challenge Slo-Pitch Tournament is uncertain.

The event’s board recently announced they are stepping down.

“We do not feel that it can continue to be profitable, nor that it will be well received, here in Revelstoke,” the press release said of the tournament. “It is unfortunate, however the Glacier Challenge has had a great run.”

The Revelstoke Glacier Challenge has taken place on the August long weekend for the past three decades. The slo-pitch tournament attracted teams from outside of Revelstoke and last summer had more than 60 teams play ball.

The event is held at Centennial Park and utilizes seven diamonds. The city opens up camping on the site and there is live music in the evenings.

When Maggie Spizzirri became a board member three years ago, she said they were trying to find ways that the tournament could be changed to run a profit.

“Slowly, over the last couple years, we’ve been working and really digging in and finding if there’s things we can change,” she said.

The 2017 board was comprised of Jen Baron, Mark Baron, Kyle Simkins, Trista Skerry, Peter Worden and Spizzirri.

This summer, the Glacier Challenge ran a profit for the first time in recent years.

Spizzirri said the board and volunteers took on many jobs. They did the registration, cleaned the washrooms and sold the ice.

“The amount of time we’re putting into the Glacier Challenge is just too much,” she said. “We took on a lot more than the board has done before. It was just too much for the volunteers we had.”

In an Aug. 15 meeting with the City of Revelstoke and the RCMP, the Glacier Challenge board was made aware of feedback the city had received and of changes that would need to be made for future years. Some of those changes included more frequent cleaning in the washrooms, more security and more hand-washing stations. If the changes were implemented, the board couldn’t see how the Glacier Challenge could continue to run a profit, said Spizzirri.

In the press release, the board acknowledged that the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch would not be renewing the tournament’s liquor licence for 2018 without major changes to the control of open liquor.

The former board invites anyone who is interested in seeing the tournament continue to create a new board and to send an email to info@glacierchallenge.com by Oct. 31.

“If no one would like to take on this project, the tournament will be dissolved and the remaining funds will be donated to charities in Revelstoke,” said the press release.

Spizzirri said that while there are people who are sad to see the tournament end, there is another camp that will be happy without the August long weekend tournament. “There’s pros and cons for everybody.”

The board thanked the sponsors and volunteers who helped to make the event happen this year.

“It truly has been an honour to be part of helping this amazing tournament reach 30 years,” it says. “We sincerely hope it has fostered a love for both sport and positive community engagement.”

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