Heatwave for SickKids

Heatwave for SickKids has a number of impressive accolades to its name. It is the current Guinness World Record Holder for the world’s largest beach volleyball tournament. It is the longest running community event in support of SickKids, celebrating its 24th anniversary this year. And it has raised an incredible $4.1 million in support of paediatric cancer research at SickKids.

“To me, SickKids means hope, strength and courage,” said Heatwave founder, Rosanne. “The children at SickKids who are fighting cancer are true heroes and inspire all of us to make a difference. They inspire corporations, players, volunteers, donors and sponsors to come together to raise funds to end childhood cancer.”
Collage of images of people playing beach volleyball
In 1994, after it was announced that beach volleyball would become an official Olympic sport, an idea sparked for Rosanne.

“This new trending sport was a perfect match to reach a new donor demographic for SickKids,” Rosanne said. “I reached out to SickKids with a proposal to launch a fun, recreational corporate team challenge fundraiser called Heatwave for SickKids. The following year, the first Heatwave for SickKids beach volleyball tournament was held at Ashbridge’s Bay Park.”

Since the launch of Heatwave for SickKids, the event has grown to 15 regional events throughout Southern Ontario and hosts an estimated 30,000 players and spectators. It has also added an indoor beach volleyball event, called Icewave for SickKids, which people can take part in during the winter months.

“For the past 24 years, we have dedicated these Heatwave and Icewave events to the courageous children at SickKids.”
This year’s Icewave for SickKids kicks off the weekend of January 27, with events also being hosted on February 3 and 10. All three events will be held at Beach Blast in Toronto. To register a team, visit the Heatwave for SickKids website.

The first Heatwave for SickKids event takes place on May 26 in Oakville for competitors in the Peel/Halton region. There are also events taking place in June in the Region of Waterloo, Durham, and York. Ashbridge’s Bay will once again play host to three Heatwave for SickKids events on June 16, July 7 and August 25.

What can people expect when they register to take part in a Heatwave event?

“The experience at Heatwave can be summed up as a fun day at the beach with your teammates enjoying coed beach volleyball, free massages, swag, food, beverages, DJs, shopping and sponsor zones, all for a great cause,” explains Rosanne. “Heatwave and Icewave events are helping SickKids fight the greatest challenges in child health. We’d love for you to join us in this incredible journey.”

If you have co-workers, friends or family members who enjoy coming together for a fun challenge in support of a good cause, consider signing up for an upcoming Icewave or Heatwave event. Registration is open for all events on the Heatwave website.

This year, not only will the events continue to support paediatric cancer research at SickKids, but they will also support the SickKids VS Limits campaign, which launched in October 2017, to build a new SickKids.

“For the past 24 years, we have dedicated these Heatwave and Icewave events to the courageous children at SickKids,” said Rosanne. “Together, through fundraising, we continue to give a remarkable gift to our future generations. This could not be made possible without the generosity and support of our Heatwave and Icewave participants.”