'It's not too late': adult beginner hockey league comes to Windsor
Canada has a love affair with hockey, with youth typically getting into the game at an early age.
But what if you weren’t one of those kids and now you feel left out of the sport at an older age?
There’s a new practice league coming to Windsor, geared at those very people.
”It’s like Timbit’s hockey except everyone’s like 6’4” on skates,” jokes Beer League Hockey Practice co-founder, Pete Munro.
Munro started the league in Peterborough in 2020, and this year, the adult skills and drills league is entering four new markets, including Hamilton, Kitchener, Oshawa and Windsor.
“Canada has hockey so deeply entrenched in its culture, it’s stitched into almost everything, and to feel like you missed the boat because you didn’t start skating when you’re four years old, that’s kind of crappy,” says Munro. “So we wanted to build something where people feel like it’s not too late.”
The 11-week schedule, which starts Sunday at 5:40 p.m. at the WFCU Centre features expert instructors who focus on the fundamentals, like passing, shooting, stick handling, positioning and skating.Beer league logo (Courtesy Beer League Hockey)
The clinics are geared at beginners and intermediate men and women who never played, need a tune up, or just want to keep up with their kids one the ice.
“We provide an environment where it’s okay to not be so good at hockey, and in a lot of cases, it’s a very intimidating sport to get into as a adult,” Munro says.
It’s a perfect fit for Raj Goel, who grew up in Winnipeg and always dreamed of playing hockey.
“It’s just something we never got to do, just with the demands of work and school,” Goel says. “It would be exciting to sort of live that dream.”
That dream never died for Goel, the passion only growing stronger for the Windsor surgeon who is eager to learn the fundamentals.
“I realize, now in my 40s, some people may have 35 years on me, so they’ve had 35 years on ice and I’ve got probably two-to-three,” he says.
Munro ultimately wants to take the practice league Canada-wide, and is even eyeing a United States presence for the start-up league.
“It’s an opportunity for people to learn and experience what we think is the best game in the world,” Munro says.
It gives adults like Goel the chance to live-out their childhood dreams, even if that doesn’t include lacing them up for the Winnipeg Jets.
“It’s not about going pro, it’s about getting together once again with friends, that means a lot,” Goel tells CTV News. “I just want to get better and I think it’s exciting to just be able to continue on with being able to learn. Life is about lifelong-learning.”
Spots are still available for the fall league, which kicks off Sunday Oct. 17 and runs until Jan. 9, 2022.
The winter season starts Jan. 16, 2022 and runs until April.
Registration is available here.