Trying to bounce up some funds for Colby
Considering the glorious summer weather and the YouTube virality of the sport, this weekend's 'bubble ball sumo tournament' was slightly underwhelming, but organizers who were hoping to capitalize on the unique allure of the event are already looking forward to a make-up day with optimism.
"It's not nearly the turnout we had been hoping for," says Lynda Harvey, "but [Skyza co-owner] Orin [Wattley] says that we'll try it again soon, so we'll have that, too."
Skyza is a Pembroke-based company that specializes in "bubble sports", activities where participants don huge inflatable balls that encapsulate them from their knees to well over their heads. In sumo matches, like those planned for the Petawawa Civic Centre on Saturday, contestants play one-on-one games where they simply charge at and ram one another until only one competitor is still within a predetermined 'ring'.
The low turnout was especially disappointing since it was planned as a fundraiser for an important local cause. Half of all proceeds raised over the course of the afternoon were to help the family of Colby Audette, the 13-year-old namesake of Colby's Crusade, whose struggles with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy have had a serious financial impact on his family.
Despite the less-than-optimal results of the day, Colby's mother Gloria sees it as just another example of a community embracing her son with open arms.
"I don't even know these people, so for them to do these things for us and for Colby, it means an awful lot. I've said it so many times that you can say thank you, but complete strangers doing this for Colby is just overwhelming.
"They're wonderful people. I don't know how to say thank you so many times."
Organizers are hoping to host another instalment of the event some time later in the summer.