A large poster of Tyson Scanlans is unveiled, naming Scanland the winner of the inaugural “Game Breaker” contest held by 6 Hearts Creative sports. The contest involved local athletes being nomiated, photographed and voted by the public. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake photographer makes local athletes the star in online contest

Tyson Scanland was named the first winner of the Game Breaker Contest by 6 Hearts Creative Sports

Tyson Scanland from the Sylvan Lake Bears was voted the Game Breaker, in a contest put on by a local photographer.

Scanland was one of eight local athletes in the contest which was dreamed up by Stephen and Angie Sebree at 6 Hearts Creative Sport.

The contest, which makes young local athlete feel like a star the likes of Wayne Gretzky, started with Stephen wanting to find a way to bring attention to as many young athletes as possible.

“I have three sons in hockey and it started with me taking their pictures. It grew after seeing many great moments being missed, someones celebration or a great play,” Stephen said.

The contest, which had eight young athletes from Sylvan Lake nominated, photographed and voted on by the public through a Facebook poll, was born out of wanting to acknowledge the kids who give their all to their sport.

The winner of the contest has their poster hanging on the walls at Hockey Central, and was signed before being mounted near the door at the restaurant.

Scanland, who has been playing football for the last five years, says it feels great to see his poster on the walls.

“It’s really awesome, I feel really good,” Scanland said.

Scanland plays a number of different positions on the Bears, but says his favourite is corner.

“I like being able to tackle other people,” he said.

Signing his name to his poster, just like his idol, is the first on his way to becoming a professional athlete.

Scanland says he has goals of playing football professionally, but does not have a specific team he dreams of playing with.

Angie said the goal of the contest was to put a spotlight on all the great local athlete, and also the local restaurants.

“When we asked Kristi at Hockey Central she jumped at the idea and was immediately on board,” Angie said.

“When we asked, Kristi said she could image the kids photos throughout the restaurant,” said Stephen.

Voting took place online through 6 Hearts Creative Sports’ Facebook page and in person at Hockey Central.

This was another way to bring attention to local businesses.

The Game Breaker Contest will likely be back, with Stephen and Angie looking to expand to other communities as well.

“There are a lot of great kids out there, in Red Deer, Innisfail, Lacombe, Eckville. If there is interest we will gladly bring this out there,” said Stephen.

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All the contestants, minus Brett Blysma, stand before a small crowd with their posters, waiting for the winner to be announced, Dec. 2. Hailey McWhirter, Tyson Scanland, Katie Bylsma, Brett Bylsma, Austin Mori-Goodman, Maddex Mori-Goodman, Bryn Golden and Emerson Kowalchuck were all participants in the “Game Breaker Contest.”

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