Passmore and Sydor thrilled to be part of HOC for 2023 Memorial Cup presented by Kia

Kamloops Blazers alumni Darryl Sydor and Steve Passmore both know the sweet taste of Memorial Cup victory – Sydor in 1992 and Passmore in 1994. In their youth, they never played on the same side, but they do now as volunteers on the Host Organizing Committee for the 2023 Memorial Cup presented by Kia. 

Sydor is the Director of People and Passmore is the Alumni Liaison Chair. They both moved to Kamloops as players, spent years playing professional hockey and then returned to the area after retiring. They’re now giving back to the league that gave them so many amazing memories. 

“I didn’t know how much goes on behind the scenes because the last time I was involved in a Memorial Cup my job was to go on the ice and try and win a hockey game,” said Passmore. “After seeing all the planning that goes into it and the hoops that have to be jumped through, I wish I could go back to the organizers and say thank you.”

He says the experience of competing in a Memorial Cup will stay with players forever, so he’s happy to play a part in making the experience a positive one for them. 

After all, it doesn’t seem like that long ago Passmore was a 19-year-old goalie stopping pucks on the way to a championship. He still clearly remembers the day in Laval, QC., when the Blazers won the Memorial Cup. Even though the tournament was on the other side of the country, he remembers sharing the victory with the dedicated fans who made the trip to cheer on their team. 

“I played five years in the WHL, 14 years pro after that and winning the Memorial Cup was still the highlight of my career,” he said. “It’s such a hard trophy to win. I’m very privileged and proud that I was able to do it.”

Volunteers for this year’s Memorial Cup can have the same impact on hockey players from around the country. The organizing committee needs volunteers in hospitality, security, special events, administration, transportation and logistics. Volunteers are invited to be part of the action, the spectacle and the fun when Canada’s premier junior hockey showdown finally returns to Kamloops. 

Sydor describes the Memorial Cup as the Stanley Cup of junior hockey, an experience that doesn’t often come around in the lives of hockey players. He sees the event as a way to bring the community together in order to host an epic event. 

“This is a way to show what Kamloops is all about – to show how much we all care about the community,” he said, adding that although it’s a lot of work to put on an event of this caliber, it is 100 per cent worth it. 

“You might even end up with a great story,” says Passmore. “Maybe you drove someone around who is now a big star in the NHL and you can tell people about it. If you never got to be a player this is the next best thing.”

Those interested in volunteering can register here.

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