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A Look Into the Past

The New Waterford Coal Bowl Classic is a national invitational boy's high school basketball tournament. Planning for the tournament was initiated by community and school people with special interest in sports and more particularly, basketball.

​The Coal Bowl Classic is held at Breton Education Centre in New Waterford, Nova Scotia. Breton Education Centre is a middle and high school which opened in 1970 with a student population in excess of 2000. The current population of the school is approximately 600 students.

​New Waterford, a previous coal mining town with an approximate population of 7500 is situated twelve miles from the City of Sydney and from the Town of Glace Bay.

​Basketball has had a long tradition in the town and that tradition was exemplified and recognised during induction ceremonies of the N.S Sports Hall of Fame in 1981. At that time, four basketball teams were inducted into the Hall of Fame, three of which were from the Town of New Waterford. The Strands Intermediate Team was honoured during the Coal Bowl '82 Banquet and the St. Agnes Juvenile Team was honoured in 1983. The Central Juvenile Team was honoured during Coal Bowl '84.

​The tournament is planned so that participating students will not only compete on the basketball court, but will participate in school-sponsored educational, social and cultural activities as well. The Board of Directors place great importance on the related activities of the tournament week.


Team members will participate in scheduled tours relating to the mining industry. In addition, the tournament week will include the Coal Bowl Dance, Coal Bowl Concert, Banquet and Socials.

Words of Encouragement

"We at Alderwood pride oursleves in our school and community spirit, however in New Waterford, NS, at Breton Education Centre we met our equal. The staff and students of the school and the residents of New Waterford are the most friendly, most unselfish people we have ever met." -This announcement was put in the school paper at Alderwood Collegiate Institute in Toronto.

"The Coal Bowl is the epitome of what we strive for in interscholastic athletics." -Ron O'Flaherty, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation

“Words just can’t describe it. I can think of nothing to compare with the experience anywhere. It’s the biggest treat you can give a kid. Basketball-wise, hospitality-wise and organisational-wise, there’s just nothing like it. It just doesn’t get any better. We were treated like kings: the people were great, the hospitality was great. It’s a lot more than just winning some basketball games. I’d go every year."