The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies is a division of the Faculty of Health
Terry Martin (BA ’20, Recreation and Sport Business) is one of 40 hockey players who will rotate six-hour shifts in an attempt to achieve a record-breaking total of 251 consecutive hours of play.
He is participating in the seventh edition of the World’s Longest Hockey Game, a fundraising event for the Cross Cancer Institute; specifically for PCLX-001, a new drug clinical trial that could potentially cure hematological cancers.
“It is both a mental and physical challenge,” says Martin. “Your body hurts the whole 10 days!” Martin’s uncle, Brent Saik, is the organizer of the World’s Longest Games, and reportedly set them up this way “to simulate what a cancer patient might be going through,” Martin says.
When Saik lost his father to cancer in 1994, he made a promise to continue raising funds for the Cross Cancer Institute. He began by hosting annual golf tournaments. Then, with the help of his family, including Martin, Saik created and hosted the first World’s Longest Hockey Game in 2003.
That promise became even more important to Saik when he lost his wife to cancer shortly after the inaugural hockey game. Since then, six World’s Longest Hockey Games and two World’s Longest Baseball Games have taken place, raising a total of $5.4 million for the Cross Cancer Institute.
Terry has been involved with the event since he was nine years old, participating in the World’s Longest Hockey Games in 2011, 2018 and 2021, and the World’s Longest Baseball Game in 2019. With the help of the knowledge obtained in his Recreation and Sport Business degree, he became involved behind the scenes in the event planning and organizingin 2019 and has continued with that role this year for the upcoming event.
The game will take place February 4 – 15 outdoors in Alberta. This year’s goal is to raise $1.5 million in support of life-saving cancer research at the University of Alberta to benefit patients at the Cross Cancer Institute. Now that’s a hockey game.
Post-event update, February 17, 2021
The WLHG 2021 in numbers: 11 days, -30+ temperatures, 40 players, 252 hours, 572 volunteer shifts, 5177 goals, and over $1.84 million raised for the Cure Cancer Foundation! Absolutely incredible!
"I have played in many of these events before, but this one was by far the hardest," said Martin. "I went through a roller coaster of emotions from start to finish, and all of the support from my family, friends and my community helped push me to the end. I am thankful for the people that helped our family in organizing the event and the players for helping out wherever they could. It feels amazing that we reached our goal, I am very grateful and cannot thank everyone enough."