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The Good Old Hockey Game

And the best game you can name is “the good old hockey game” (Stompin’ Tom Connors lyrics)

I spent some time over the Remembrance Day weekend watching the annual hockey tournament hosted at the newly built Polar Centre, St. Anthony.  A total of 13 teams participated in the 19+ and 40 years of age and older category. Over the course of several games locals and expats showcased their talents. It was truly enjoyable to relax and enjoy the love of the game. I loved watching the players race after the puck, some in their mid-60s competing with those just rolling over 40 on the ice. Quite the dynamic!

Organized tournaments help boost the local economy through hotel stays, restaurants, beverage service, gasoline purchase and other retail sales. I have to admit that stadium poutine is one I recommend. Something about the chill in the air of crisp fries, melting cheese all smothered with gravy. Yum! It’s like getting your popcorn at the movie – a must!

I hope this is the first of many recreational and minor hockey games I’ll get to watch during the course of Fall and Winter. If you are visiting the Great Northern Peninsula, why not drop by one of our local stadiums to watch our talented youth and adults take to the ice? You could rent the ice or throw some rocks at the Polar Centre, as they have a curling option. As a curling fan of more than 20-years, I hope this year I’ll get to throw my first rock this season!

Arenas are avenues for Trade Shows, Conferences and Conventions. Let’s have that chili cook-off, traditional Newfoundland cooking competition or fishing exhibition locally. We have so many opportunities to exhibit our talents on ice or off. Our arenas are one of the many places you should consider visiting when you trek rural Newfoundland & Labrador!

Live Rural NL

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Taking to the Ice at Straits Arena, St. Barbe, NL

It’s that time of year again when many rural Newfoundlanders & Labradorians take to their local stadiums, whether for Minor Hockey, Figure Skating, Broomball, Curling, Recreational Hockey Leagues, General Skating and other special events.

The Straits Arena serves 26 communities of the Straits region on the Great Northern Peninsula. I visited it earlier this week, as the General Manager told me they were gearing up for a busy season with close to 175 registrants for Minor Hockey. It should be a stadium that is filled by many parents, grandparents and local fans as they watch the flurry of activity on the ice.

Earlier this year, I participated in the Follow the Leader Challenge (www.followtheleadernl.ca) to promote a month of healthy living. The final week was a community physical activity that involved children. I’m a very novice skater, in fact, I really don’t know how to stop but I decided to rent the ice for an hour for anyone who wanted to join the fun. It was nice to see nearly 50 people including many youth, so taking to the ice for the very first time in years.

I remember the excitement as a child when winter came when all the kids and adults of Green Island Cove would take to Louie‘s Pond across the road from the local Lion’s Club and a local hockey game would take place. I’d love to see a revival of tradition, let’s take to the ice this winter at the local pond or your local arena.

There are incredible opportunities in and around our rural communities to live active lifestyles. The St. Barbe arena is one of the many places to do just that!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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