Abbotsford British Columbia, Canada. January 1st, 2014 saw the 3rd Annual Ricky Bruch Polar Bear Meet. This year we had our largest group of intrepid throwers come out to participate, with eleven men and women competing in our ever growing fun meet.
The Bruch began as a simple Polar Bear meet 4 years ago, sparsely attended by a few of the throwers from the club, but we still had a great time. Shortly thereafter myself and Harold Willers, the regional throws coach for the Valley Royals Track Club, discussed renaming it to the Ricky Bruch Polar Bear Meet, in honor of Björn Rickard “Ricky” Bruch’s documentary, The Soul is Greater Than the World (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaXWvOc7voY). Over the years Harold has been giving out copies of the DVD to new throwers to watch and gain inspiration from Ricky’s dedication. The first few years, we made various T-Shirts to wear and bring unity to the Throwing group, such as WWBD (What Would Bruch Do) and simply BRUCH, which some of you reading this may have spotted around some of the tracks we have been at.
When Ricky passed away in 2011, it solidified our drive to rename the Polar Bear meet and try and get bigger attendance. With the kind blessings of Ricky’s cousin and good friend Peter Aspeheim, we have worked to remember Ricky and grow the meet, with the ultimate goal being multiple Ricky Bruch Polar Bear Meets happening around the global throwing world every January 1st.
The Bruch follows the NCAA scoring system for points based on distance, and every competitor throws 3 throws in the hammer, discus, shot put and javelin, and in that order. Due to only having three throws, circle fouls are allowed, and we have relaxed the sector fouls to allow every throw to count, as long as it is not further away from the sector then the implement thrown. At the end of the 4 events, a winner is chosen who is presented with a take home trophy, and the overall Ricky Bruch Memorial Trophy, which is updated every year.
We have had some close competitions in the past and have had two national athletes win in the past, with Spencer Prince (now retired Canadian hammer thrower) winning the first Bruch and Adam Keenan (Canadian Junior hammer throw record holder) beating Spencer in the second Bruch. This year we had a new champion and this was our closest result yet, with Valley Royal thrower Adam Lambert beating Spencer by a mere 20 points.
This year we took a further step to making it a throwing community event, by having a homemade pancake lunch, made in the track house by Harold’s wife Mary and a few other helpers. This is a great wrap up as everyone has a great time reminiscing about horrendous throws in different events, or hilarious things that have happened in the previous Bruch’s.
Then it is time for prizes and this year we had some amazing prize donations. We had shirts for all of the throwers, donated by Fuel Nutrition Abbotsford, who also donated a gym bag, a tub of protein, and various other add on prizes such as shaker cups, some energy pills, and some pre-workout samples. Check them out at www.svnfuel.com, or better yet stop in and see Andrew, Krish and Alecia. P3 Cream stepped up again and John even came out of throwing retirement to compete! 20+ years since his last throwing days and he was there bright and early. Check P3 out at www.p3cream.com, or find them in a variety of retailers, in Canada and the USA. We also had an amazing pair of leather lifting straps donated to us by Canadian Olympic shot putter Justin Rodhe. Justin hand makes the straps and the throwing gloves, and they were excitedly snapped up quickly. For more info on Justin’s products check out www.rodhethrows.com.
Finally a huge thanks to Peter Aspeheim for sending us some amazing pictures of Ricky and helping us continue on with this tradition. Our wrap up video features Mig fångar ingen brud (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rwyuksSV90), which Ricky performed.
You can view our wrap up video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8PydIjLMIA.
We look forward to the 2015 Ricky Bruch and seeing more throwers come out and participate. It has grown from a purely Valley Royals fun meet, to include throwers from Chilliwack, Mission, Langley, Maple Ridge and Kamloops. Hopefully 2015 will also be the first year we see multiple events happening around the Global Throwing World!