Monday, March 9, 2009

Goodbye Gus Macker

After 16 years of basketball in Victoria Park, Gus Macker will no longer be making an appearance in the Forest City. As reported in today's London Free Press, tournament organizer Clyde Adkin's decision to cancel was personal, "It's just time. It's too much for me to do every year. It's pretty tough."

The 3-on-3 basketball tournament used to draw in approximately 1600 teams aged 7-65, and raised as much as $40,000 each year for various charities. As reported on AM980 News, a downturn in attendance and volunteers has affected the event, notes Adkin, "It's just so time consuming. When I look at it, sponsorship is down, enrollment has dropped a little bit and on a volunteer basis it's become much more difficult."

The news of Gus Mackers's only Canadian stop being cancelled has saddened Londoners. Looking at my friend's Facebook status' tell me so: "RIP Guss Macker," "There is Still Hope for Macker," "Wow... Did That Just Happen?," and "No More Gus Macker." What London and surrounding area child, teenager, or adult has not participated or attended the yearly May tournament? I can still remember practicing with my team for the competition, and feeling the excitement knowing Gus Macker weekend is approaching. It united basketball lovers.

It is understandable that Adkin's longtime organization of this tournament has run its course. What we can hope for is a new leader, backed by sponsorship, volunteers and participants, to show a renewed interest inthe tournament, with the hopes that it will return to London in the future!


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