Alessandro De Luca
Adult hockey leagues prohibited, players long for the game
The effects go beyond just being bored.
Adult hockey leagues, in the West Island, have always been a source of entertainment and exercise. Whether you’re a retired player, or simply a casual skater who wants to have some fun, there is a league for you. Unfortunately, with the lockdown banning public gatherings, hockey games were prohibited, leaving a void in the days of many residents.
The absence of hockey has been especially hard for William McElligott, a 19 year old student who recently quit playing organized hockey to join his father’s adult league.
“In the winter, I always rely on hockey for exercise” said McElligott. “It’s been tough just sitting at home. I love watching the Canadians play, but at the same time, that makes me want to go out there and play more. Not getting out and having that team comraderie, as well as not being able to get that physical activity that we especially need in this time, has been difficult.”
William continued to explain how his exercise time has dropped tremendously because of these restrictions.
“When you’re playing on a team, you have your set games," he stated. "You know that during the week, you’re going to automatically have a workout by playing hockey. With the lockdown, you’re making your own schedule, and it’s a lot tougher to be motivated to do physical activity, versus if I was playing hockey, where I’d be doing exercise while playing a sport I love.”
Despite the negative impact of the restrictions, some say that they are a necessary evil, as germs can be easily spread through playing a sport like hockey. As we are seeing in the NHL, many of the US games have had to be postponed due to players and coaches being infected with the virus.
McElligott has mixed feelings about how safety of hockey during the pandemic.
“Everyone looks at COVID differently. If proper protocols were enforced that allowed us to stay safe, then I would feel comfortable playing," the devoted player explained to the West Island News. "The cases have been pretty high, and everyone is just trying to stay calm, but if there was a chance that my league would come back with the right measures, then I would probably play. Its a bit scary for a lot of the other players in the league who are much older than me, so I’m sure they would be more nervous to go back. For them, it can be a higher risk, so the measures would have to make everyone feel comfortable.”
William is one of many people who have been negatively hit with the lack of hockey playing. He, along with many other West Island players, must wait for a safe time to hit the ice again, until then, he will have to make do with watching hockey virtually.