Duane Kinshella

Duane Kinshella

Age not an issue during annual Playmakers hockey tournament

Six West Shore based teams competed at Pearkes Recreation Centre last week

Hockey can be a lifetime sport. That much was proven true last week at the 27th annual Victoria Playmakers Oldtimers Hockey Tournament, where players even into their 80s donned skates, pads and jerseys and engaged in friendly battles on the ice.

A half dozen West Shore-based teams – the Bear Mountain Bruins and Eagle Ridge Predators each had teams playing in the 60-over, 65-over and 70-over divisions – took part in the five-day event at Pearkes Recreation Centre in Saanich.

The event attracted 39 teams, mostly from B.C. and Alberta, but including one each from the U.S. and even Japan. Two teams, the Parksville Panters and the Sherwood Park Lancers from Alberta, entered 80-over squads.

While age is often no barrier for players looking to join a team or get in a game, Playmakers spokesperson Butch Boucher said elder puck statesmen are given special treatment at the banquet.

Those over 70 are “knighted” by a sword-wielding town crier and given a certificate declaring them Hockey Knights in Canada, while those 80-over have the title Hockey Exemplar bestowed upon them.