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Trojans and Bighorns renew rivalry

Kalin (left) and Tife (right) are proud Bighorns. What side are you on? (photo by Ali Seglins)
Kalin (left) and Tife (right) are proud Bighorns. What side are you on? (photo by Ali Seglins)

Traditions tend to have deep roots at Dalhousie, a university who’s founding—as a sign on Robie Street kindly reminds passersby—dates to 1818. The list of traditions may soon include a new member in the Charity Tip-Off, a series of intra-residence athletic competitions designed to raise money for the Halifax community.

Every year, the illustrious houses of Shirreff, Risley, Howe, Gerard, O’Brien, Eliza Ritchie and, of course, Mini-Res divide into two teams—the Bighorns and the Trojans—and play in a three-sport tournament that includes soccer, basketball and hockey.

The latest installment of the Bighorns-Trojans rivalry took place on Friday, Oct. 4, as the Bighorns—composed of the Shirreff, Eliza Ritchie and Risley residences—walked away with a 4-3 victory in the soccer game.

“It felt like Christmas,” says Bighorns player Santiago Leon.

“It went better than I thought it would, considering we had only two weeks to get together,” agrees Frida Otieno, a Bighorns manager. “All in all, I feel that everyone involved did their best and everything fell into place.”

This year marks the seventh anniversary of the intra-residence competition. The games began as a way for students to raise money for various charities of their choosing. In recent years, the money has gone to the IWK Health Centre, a children’s hospital located on University Avenue.

Organizers stress that all proceeds raised by the games go directly to the IWK, where they help maintain the hospital facilities and fund new research.

“It all goes to the IWK Children’s Hospital to help buy new equipment,” says Bighorns–Residence Life Manager liaison Taylor Thompson.

According to the event’s coordinators, the October soccer game alone raised $2,500. Organizers say that the three games last year raised $15,000 and hope to exceed that number by 2014.

Thompson acknowledges that beating last year’s total will be difficult, noting that the amount of money the teams are able to collect varies wildly from year to year. “It was $31,000 two years ago and only $15,000 last year,” he says.

The next event on the Charity Tip-Off calendar will see the Bighorns and Trojans square off on the basketball court, in a game scheduled for this November. In addition to tickets, the event’s promoters will be selling T-shirts that will allow members of all residences to publicly declare their allegiance to their respective teams.

The year-end hockey game, generally the most popular event of the three, should help boost donations. Coordinators remain optimistic that large attendance numbers will translate to large donation amounts.

Though premised on competition, Charity Tip-Off games mostly generate a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for players and spectators alike. They unite the campus in support of a worthy cause, fostering a sense of community among students while taking their minds off of papers and exams.

For this writer, at least, the Bighorns-Trojans rivalry continues to be an integral part of the campus experience—another Dalhousie tradition in the making.





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