Bobcat’s inaugural BIRT Cup raises $29,000 for several sports-related community initiatives

Westman Youth Football Association president Brady Dane, Bev Neufeld of the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex and Noel Harding of the Brandon Boxing Club stand alongside BIRT Cup committee member Tyler Crayston and Investors Group representatives Tim Rowan and Dennis Hunt for a cheque presentation at the Healthy Living Centre. (Pictured left to right)

Brandon University Athletics Release

BRANDON – The first installment of the Investors Group BIRT Cup under the Bobcats’ banner was a success.

The alumni/charity tournament at the Wheat City Golf Course on Friday, July 13 raised $29,000 for several sports-related community initiatives.

The funding will go towards the Boyd Stadium football fields project, the Brandon Boxing Club, the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex and a newly established scholarship award for Brandon University student-athletes.

“Our Bobcat BIRT Cup organizing committee is proud to give back to worthwhile causes,” said BU Athletic Director Russ Paddock. “We had great representation from athletic alumni and outstanding support through our positive relationships with the corporate community.”

“Investors Group’s Western Manitoba Regional Office was proud to be the lead sponsor of the 2018 Bobcat BIRT Cup and we applaud the support this golf tournament provides to the local sports community,” said Dennis Hunt, Executive Senior Financial Consultant with Investors Group. “We have had a longstanding partnership with Brandon University over the years, supporting multiple projects including the construction of the Healthy Living Centre and the growth of the BU Athletics program. We are pleased to be associated with a post-secondary institution that prides itself on being at the forefront of education in western Manitoba and provides the best student-athlete experience as possible.”

Brandon University Athletics took over the tournament from Bobcat hockey alum Scott Hlady, who ran the BIRT Cup independently for 10 years.

Hlady and his foursome of Dwayne Gylywoychuk, David Anning and Jody Norminton captured the 2018 championship on a count back after finishing in a three-way tie for top spot at 14-under.

“Winning the prestigious trophy and passing the BIRT Cup torch onto the Bobcats was a special moment,” said Hlady. “I know the tournament is in good hands moving ahead and I am excited to defend the title next year.”

The business community extended a huge helping hand to the Bobcats with 70 sponsors supporting the tournament.

A number of pro athletes also donated autographed items that were put towards a raffle fundraiser. BU Sports Wall of Famer Mike McEwen, CFLer Landon Rice, Matt Calvert of the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues’ defenceman Joel Edmundson and Stanley Cup champion Devante Smith-Pelly of the Washington Capitals made contributions.

BU hockey alum Kit Harrison won the raffle’s grand prize — a Vegas Golden Knights’ Travel Package. Harrison’s trip includes flight, hotel and two tickets to watch the Knights face the visiting Winnipeg Jets on February 22, 2019.