Sports

Fastball tournament to honour the late Andre Blanleil Sr.

Six teams will play in the first edition of the Andre Sr. Memorial Fastball Tournament this weekend - Contributed
Six teams will play in the first edition of the Andre Sr. Memorial Fastball Tournament this weekend
— image credit: Contributed

A fixture in Kelowna's fastball community for over three decades will be honoured this weekend with a tournament played in his memory.

The Andre Blaneil Sr. Memorial Tournament will be held on Father's Day weekend, this Friday, June 15 to Sunday, June 17 at Kings Stadium.

The six-team event will be hosted by the Kelowna Major Men's Fastball Association.

The late Andre Blanleil Sr. passed away last November after a battle with cancer.

Blanleil played fastball locally as a pitcher in the 1960s, then played alongside his three sons—Andre, Rene and Maurice—in the late 1970s.

In the mid 1980s, Andre Sr. was the coach of the only senior A fastball team out of Kelowna during that era, Andre's Panasonics.

Andre Jr., Rene and Maurice have all been playing Kelowna major men's fastball for more than 30 years.

Andre Sr.'s grandsons, Kyle, Chad and Travis, all currently play with Andre's Athletics.

"We decided at a family dinner we wanted to have a tournament to remember him, it just happened to be Father's Day weekend, so it worked out pretty well," said Kyle Blanleil. "Kings Stadium has been so much a part of our lives, he (Andre Sr.) played and then coached us later, and we've all spent so many hours at the park."

Andre’s Athletics, Westbank Cardinals, Kelowna Colts, Okanagan Merchants, GFX (Penticton) and Fleetwood Jr Marlins will be among the teams competing.

On Saturday at 5 p.m., a sign will be unveiled at the stadium in honour of Andre Sr.

Organizers are inviting any current or former players, or anyone who knew Andre to attend the ceremony.

The tournament final will be played Sunday at noon.

There will be a raffle table, 50/50 draw, barbecue and beer gardens during the tournament, all at Kings Stadium.

For more information on the tournament, visit andresfastball.com, or call Kyle at (250) 215-2345.

 

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