As of 10:00 AM Friday, games will have officially begun for the 28th annual London Devilettes women’s hockey tournament. Tying last year’s record of 183 teams, London will be filled this weekend with over 3000 hockey playing girls.
Hosting the tournament are conveners Greg and Kathy Strauss. This will be the fourth year the Strauss’ are convening the tournament, who had their daughter go through the Devilettes organization.
This tournament isn’t just great for women’s hockey, it also provides a fantastic economic opportunity for London. Many of the 3000 girls playing in the tournament are coming from out of town with their families. Hotels are sold out for the weekend and restaurants will surely see a boom as well.
Greg Strauss hopes the tournament can get bigger with some future developments in the London area. They are currently limited with hotels and ice rinks. “We’ve pretty much filled up every hotel in the city and used up all the available ice.” Greg Strauss said, “We’ve expanded to Dorchester as well all day Friday with both pads this year as well.”
Strauss’ hopes could be met in the future; London is currently in talks with Gateway Casinos about a possible hotel and casino addition to Western Fair, where the tournament is based. Along with the Western Fair Sports Centre, games are being played at eight other arenas. All final games will conclude Sunday at Western Fair Sports Centre.
The funds raised from the event go right back into the Devilettes organization. Lowering ice costs and registration fees for teams. The Devilettes have over 800 girls in their organization ranging from ages five to 21.