AUNDECK OMNI KANING—Twelve volleyball teams gathered on Easter weekend in Aundeck Omni Kaning (AOK) to celebrate the memory of Island volleyball players Branden baa and Noah baa Ominika by returning to the court and playing their favourite sport. Branden Ominika was the son of Glenda Ominika and Jeffery Eshkawkogan. Noah Ominika was the son of Catherine (Cathy) Ominika and the late Clifford baa Bondy.
The special tournament was coordinated and organized by Gerard Baibomcowai and Dana Ominika of Wiikwemkoong in memory of the two boys who loved to play the game, both of whom brought home Northern Ontario Secondary School Athletics and North Shore Secondary Schools Athletic Association championships to Wiikwemkoong High School in two different school years.
Ms. Ominika explained that the love of the game started for the boys the backyard of the Ominika homestead.
In addition to each member of the winning team taking home a cool $250 and the runner-up team members hauling in $125 apiece, $500 dollars from the tournament will be going to Wiikwemkoong High for student bursaries.
The weekend featured a spirited competition, with the final game going right down to the wire. The winners had to battle for every point scored.
Mr. Baibomcowai and Ms. Ominika said they would like to thank all those who participated in their fundraising events to make this special event happen, especially all the fans that came out to cheer on their family and friends.
Jacob Fox and Michael Aiabens were presented with special beaded medallions in honour of their efforts in refereeing the games throughout the tournament on Saturday.
“Thank you goes out to Don Spraggett for donating hats and Kelly Daybutch for T-shirts given to the tournament champs and runner-ups,” said Ms. Ominika, who also offered a sincere chi-miigwetch to all the staff at AOK Four Directions Complex. “Most importantly thank you to all players that came out and played. You all made this tournament possible and we look forward to seeing you next year for the second annual tournament.
The winning team consisted of Erin Morrison, Jason Peltier, Lyric Peltier, Blair Morrison, Daniel Peltier, Brandon Pheasant and Daphne Corbiere. Runners-up, The McGees included: Shaneece Manitowabi, Nathan Ominika, Joe Ominika, Taylor Recollet, Adrian Recollet-Trudeau, Alycia Shawana, Howard Ominika, Alyssa Ominika and Adrianne (Tessa) Ominika.
Mr. Baibomcowai has organized or helped organize a number of sporting events over the years, but had vowed to put his feet up for a while after organizing a Lost LNHL hockey tournament in Manitowaning last month. “I just can’t seem to say no,” laughed Mr. Baibomcowai when queried about his failed hiatus attempt. Try as he might, Mr. Baibomcowai was unable to mask his passion and enthusiasm for team sports, evidenced by the broad smile on his face as the tournament concluded on Saturday.