It’s February in the Frontenacs.
Like most of Canada, there’s a lot of hockey going on. Down at the Frontenac Community Arena, there are of course the Frontenac Flyers and Frontenac Fury organizations for boys and girls organized hockey respectively.
But what about when you leave your teens?
Well, on Sundays at noon, the Frontenac Arena is the home of the Frontenac Fly Girls, a ladies team that boasts 18 members on its roster — and they’ve been doing it for 17 years.
“It’s a bunch of ladies having social fun time,” says Glenna Asselstine, Fly Girls captain, player/coach, organizer (“all of the above”). “We play some tournaments but essentially it’s just for fun.”
The Sunday games are played against two other ladies teams, one from Kingston and another essentially based in Tamworth that includes players from all over.
They play real games, with referees and timekeepers. And they keep score but they don’t have standings or playoffs.
“Our officials are kids of some of the players who are looking to get some refereeing experience,” Asselstine said. “We had one penalty called today (in a 3-3 tie with Tamworth).
“But we like to have some structure to the game, you know, some stoppages for line changes and such.”
And perhaps the odd break for aging legs?
“Yeah, that too,” she said, chuckling.
Their oldest player is 67 and their youngest “28, I think,” Asselstine said.
“Some players leave and we recruit new ones,” she said. “We’ve had a core of six or seven players for quite some time now.”
One of the newer recruits is self-confessed ‘rink rat’ Julia Schall.
“It’s great, lots of fun,” Schall said. “If it were up to me, I’d be on the ice the whole time.”
And fun is kinda the point with this bunch.
Asselstine’s been playing hockey since she was 11. She took some time off to have a son, but was soon back into it.
And it’s still fun for her.
“Well, there’s a tournament in Tamworth next weekend and at the end of April, we’ll be going down to Lake Placid for a four-day tournament with men’s and women’s division, but essentially that’s for fun too.”
Lisa Myles, a Napanee fitness trainer who plays with the Tamworth group said they do have a tournament team (The Bucketlisters) who placed second in the 55+ provincials last year and will be heading to St. John NB in August for a national tournament agreed that the fun aspect was the big attraction.
“You know, some young girls came into our dressing room after the game and said ‘there’s a bunch of old ladies in there,’” Myles said.
For hockey players, age is just a state of mind.