So we all expect the Covid momentum for outdoor sports to continue, right?
And now we can enjoy the outdoors and all the wonderful, joyful, and super-spectacular things that come with not having to wear thick layers. Sunday snow? Blip on the radar.
Also, if you can survive a second day blizzard at the 2010 NWT Track and Field Championships in Hay River with only a windbreaker while those around you fall from hypothermia from not having listened to Geoff Buerger on the PA microphone you need to get into the school and stay warm and not be outside if you don’t have to but no you just finished your run in the sprint 100 yards and you’re hard, then you drop because your body temperature has stabilized, what’s a short flurry of wet snow?
This time, two years ago, people were eager to drag their locked butts out the door not just for fresh air, but for something to do. I don’t care how much you love your family – you want to see other people and do other things. There are only a limited number of games of Punch-Out on the NES Classic that you can play before you think, “I can’t beat Soda Popinski anymore…he was easier when I was nine.”
Don’t write to me or accuse me of not loving my family. I do it. A lot. Seriously. Not really. Isn’t it, darling?
The golf season is already underway and it’s been going on for just over a week. It doesn’t take a lot of publicity to get people to come out and play at nine or 18, but when the pandemic first took hold in the city, it was one of the only things you could do where you could abide by all the regulations of the time. and always play a correct trick. The only thing that changed was how you could be on the course: no tee time, no appearance. Now, the Yellowknife Golf Club has been playing fast and free with this rule for the past few years because at many clubs around the world you can’t show up and play without a reservation. Our club settled down, it seems, because it was a necessity to function.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has taught us that people like to hit things. The frustration of being cooped up inside your home for weeks may have been the root cause, but tennis is perhaps the sport that has gained the most courtesy from Covid-19. The Yellowknife Tennis Club saw its membership grow to the point where waiting lists had to be established for some of the club’s offerings. The tournaments also saw their popularity skyrocket – the club no longer needed to ask people to sign up to catch up with the numbers, but rather the announcements became timely as there were perhaps a spot or two left in some parentheses.
Filling a 16-player bracket in men’s and women’s singles is no longer a chore.
And let’s not forget what Tommy Forrest Ball Park and Fritz Thiel Park are all about: softball. The Yellowknife Fastball League was the first organized amateur sports league in Canada to start once restrictions eased enough for real sports to take place. Don’t think then-President Garrett Hinchey didn’t know the responsibility that lay on him and on the shoulders of leaders. They were the test bunnies for outdoor team sports and if they dropped the ball you might as well have thought of it as a hand grenade because nothing would have happened in the summer of 2020. Luckily – fortunately even – they didn’t and it was a successful season, which showed that yes, we can all come together and play sports outdoors and everything is fine with the world.
2021 has come and gone and it’s been even better than 2020 with less restrictions and the numbers seem to be staying the same, maybe even up a bit in the case of tennis and softball. Again, a lot of people play golf. But now we come to that point where things are relatively back to normal, or at least something resembling what life was like until ‘rona. Now that we can fly again and now that we can do almost everything we could do, will that have an effect on what sports will look like in the summer?
I certainly hope that people who started tennis two summers ago will continue to play and not abandon ship. Too many sports organizations here and abroad have been bludgeoned, looted and mutilated because they couldn’t operate for one or more silly, stupid reasons (I’ll still never understand why adults were allowed in inside but not children) and because of that we have a generation of children who have become socially malnourished, functionally malleable and so behind in almost everything that you couldn’t even find the starting line to start them back to where they should have been months ago.
Golf seems to be off to a good start and softball will soon hit the courts with tennis not too far behind. If ultimate is your thing, the Yellowknife Ultimate Club would be happy to hook you up and play. And the Yk Multisport Club is launched (yes, I thought of it on my own) with its spring/summer 2022 season.
What I’m trying to tell you is to support what we have here. A lot of people have put in a lot of work to get there and all they need is you.