Gold Medal tournament should be open to all

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2007

It is a shame to see the Lions Club decision to eliminate the women's and intermediate bracket from their Gold Medal tournament. Although the ultimate goal of the tournament is to provide funding for the Lions Club's programs, over the last 62 years, Gold Medal has evolved into more than just a fundraiser.

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Gold Medal has become a vehicle that brings together villages, families and friends to support each other. It is all ages that attend Gold Medal, from infants to elderly. Having a variety and range of brackets provides more incentive for out-of-town spectators to pay the high expenses to attend this tournament.

Simplifying the tournament to just include B and C men's bracket, I believe, is an unrealistic assessment of what the spectators are interested in seeing. The men's B bracket has and will always be the highest attended. The C bracket being the second most popular has more to do with these games being scheduled right before or right after B bracket games than anything.

I have been proud to be a participant and spectator of an event that promoted equality. I cannot say so now. By simplifying the tournament, the Lions Club is doing a disservice to the communities that participate and the Lions Club itself. And if this is truly about funding and not about the Invitational Committee just not wanting to deal with the women's bracket, the Lions Club should consider involving the youth more. There is where the highest support would come from - watching our youth.

Sarah Dybdahl


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