Online tournament aims to inject competition, team spirit into youth sports
House Madness challenges young teammates to create videos of themselves playing 'together'
Basketball coach Audrey Trempe never thought she'd be using a roll of toilet paper to teach her players about teamwork, but that is the situation she finds herself in after COVID-19 shut down her team's run at a championship.
Trempe says the girls she coaches at École secondaire Georges-Vanier in Villeray have been craving competition since their season unexpectedly ended, so she signed them up for a new online tournament called House Madness.
"It's a really good idea to keep the focus and to keep the team spirit, because they're at home and they don't know what to do. They're just waiting and looking at Instagram or Facebook," Trempe said.
The goal is for the players to create a collaborative video much like the ones we've seen from professional athletes since the start of the pandemic.
The videos will be judged on their originality, creativity, degree of difficulty and cooperation between teammates. The videos will be pitted against each other round by round until only one is left standing.
Organizer hopes to recreate spirit of team sports online
Fabrice Vil, who is best known as the founder of a community basketball program called Pour 3 Points, is the organizer of the tournament.
He said when he saw the videos of the professionals online kicking around toilet paper, he knew it was something that young athletes in Quebec would want to try with their own teams.
"Sports is about playing, having fun, creativity, so we hope to see the same thing in the tournament videos. Let kids play and have fun and be creative," Vil said.
Vil has rounded up a number of well-known local athletes to help promote the initiative, such as tennis star Félix Auger-Aliassime, Impact legend Patrice Bernier, Olympic hockey champion Marie-Philip Poulin and NFL Super Bowl champion Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
The team that wins the video competition will get to meet the celebrities once it is safe to gather in groups again.
Duvernay-Tardif has promised to present the winners with a trophy that he is planning to make himself in his wood shop.
"He's a great leader, a model and inspiration for our youth. I'm excited to see when he's going to get a chance to meet with the kids who win the tournament," Vil said.
Registration is open until Friday
Vil says the competition is open to any youth sports team in the province with players who are 18 years old or under.
Each round, the teams are expected to make a new video that harnesses the spirit of co-operation and displays athletic skill.
Trempe says her basketball team has already started brainstorming for their first video.
"With the House Madness, they can have a competition with other teams, so that is really nice. Even if we don't have a basketball game, we have a challenge together that can keep the team spirit until the end of the season, so it's a really good thing," she said.
Any teams wishing to challenge Trempe's basketball team can sign up on the Pour 3 Points website. Registration is open until Friday, April 17.