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This free-throw contest could produce international champs

Free-throw championships have been happening since 1972, helping boys and girls participate in an athletic outlet and fostering sportsmanship

Nothing but net was the hope of the day for Sunday's Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship of Barrie.

The district level of the basketball free-throw championships took place at St. John Paul II Catholic School in the city's south end.

More than 50 of the best free-throw shooters took to the line for bragging rights and the chance to move on to the regionals in Aurora on Saturday, March 2.

Deputy of Barrie’s District 86 Thomas Hargreaves told BarrieToday that the event was just one step toward being an international champion.

“These competitions start at the schools and the winners there move on to the council level. District 86 itself is made up of five councils,” Hargreaves explained. “From here, they’ll go to Aurora for the regionals where the scores from council, district and regionas will be tallied and help to decide who the provincial champion is.

"All the scores will be sent to our Supreme Headquarters in New Haven, Conn., and again tallied against scores from around the world to finally determine the international champion," he added. 

The free-throw championships have been happening since 1972 and help boys and girls between the ages of nine and 14 to participate in an athletic outlet and encourage the values of sportsmanship and healthy competition.

While it is a motivational event to get kids active and involved in sports, it is also a competition with the rest of Canada and countries like the United States, the Philippines, Mexico and anywhere else there's a Knights of Columbus free-throw event.

So far, Hargreaves said that Ontario is doing very well against the rest of the world.

“We do have some bragging rights as a 10-year-old girl for the provincials came from Penetanguishene last year,” said Hargreaves. “The 12-year-old international champion for the boys division was from Oshawa, so as you can see, we’ve got some very talented young boys and girls in Ontario.”

One of those talented young girls was Lily Coles, who was being cheered on by her dad, Kayne. The 10-year-old won a medal in her age group and told BarrieToday that she's happy about the win and is going to pursue basketball at school.

“I liked today, it was a lot of fun,” said Coles. “I’m going to try out for the team at school now and hope I make it.”


Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based on Barrie
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