LOWER ONSLOW – While the nation celebrates an iconic winter pastime Saturday in Lloydminster, Bruce Fiddes will be watching from the sidelines here anxiously waiting for cold temperatures to return.
For more than two months the Lower Onslow resident has been grooming two outdoor rinks at his home, sharing his love of pond hockey with friends and neighbours.
However, a warming trend during the past week has taken a toll on his backyard hobby.
“This weather isn’t doing me any favours,” said Fiddes.
When conditions are right, he spends more than 40 hours a week maintaining the outdoor rinks. Fiddes can’t wait for temperatures to drop as predicted this week so he can get back to enjoying his hobby and playing his favourite sport on the natural ice surface.
“My first hockey experience was pond hockey,” he said, adding many people from his generation would say the same thing. “So it’s something I’ve come back to.”
It takes a great deal of work to set up the two rinks and maintain them but he does it because “it keeps me off the couch.”
On January 25, he is inviting others with a passion for pond hockey to get off their couches and join him for a daylong pond hockey event.
Fiddes is aiming to organize eight, one-hour games on his homemade rinks to mark Hockey Day in Canada. Several teams, including at least one all female team, have expressed interest but he is looking for more people to be involved.
“I used to watch this on TV, you know, Hockey day in Canada, and wonder why somebody didn’t do something around here,” he said. “That was my first impetus.”
He said he’ll need “a lot of luck on my side to have things go right” but wants to organize the event for the pond hockey enthusiasts in the community.
Anyone interested in participating can contact Fiddes in advance of the event by calling 662-3205.
He said this would be a family event for all ages to celebrate hockey and enjoy time outdoors as a community.
WHAT: A day of pond hockey to mark Hockey Day in Canada
WHERE: Oakland Drive, Lower Onslow
WHEN: Jan. 25, all day
WHO: Bruce Fiddes
WHY: To celebrate Canada’s game, hockey.
Details: Anyone interested in participating in a pond hockey tournament is invited to call 662-3205 for more information.