Our club meets

Every Wednesday evening except holidays and summer.

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kings Way Care Centre, 8 Squire Drive in Quispamsis, NB (it's the seniors home on the Gondola Point Arterial) - in the Boardroom.

We'd love to meet you.

There are no meetings on storm days.

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Everything That I Know About Life I Learned at the Hockey Rink

Speech #3: “Get to the Point”
by Anne Ryan


Organize the speech in a manner that best achieves your general and specific purposes. Ensure the beginning, body, and conclusion reinforce the purpose. Project sincerity and conviction and control any nervousness you may feel. Strive not to use notes.


Mr. Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters, and Honoured guests. Everything that I know about life I learned at the hockey rink.

For thirteen winters—and in hockey, winter starts in October and ends in April—while my two boys have traded their tiny jerseys for progressively larger ones, I have been watching and learning about hockey. I know what rinks are the coldest and which rinks have the best canteens. I know that ten year olds practice at 6 am, and that sixteen years olds practice at ten at night. However, I have learned many of life’s most important lessons from my hockey-playing sons themselves.

Ross’s very first practice was on a warm fall day when he was five—and I remember that because I had not yet learned that warm weather on the outside of the rink does not translate to warm temperatures on the inside. The lights were still very low on the ice surface because they were the first skaters of the day. I remember that the ice looking like a cold pond in the early days of winter—a fog of cold air floating over it. Ross and the twenty or so five year olds looked like little ducklings heading to the pond for the first time—tentative, yet full of anticipation about the world of hockey held for them, each child envisioning a world where they were a glamorous NHL player.

The lesson from the novice hockey player? Approach the world with fresh eyes to envision the possibilities for what life may hold out for you.

To a child, or indeed to his parents, playing defense is not necessarily the most glamorous position on the ice—you seldom get to score, and some coaches yell at you if you leave your defensive position. However, Ross sometimes takes this risk, charges down the ice and gets a score. Ross is a defenseman because he can skate as fast backwards as he can forwards. He must shift his direction by pivoting on a dime, or take the momentum from his backward strides, lap around and then go forward. I asked Ross how he ties up his opponents. He said: “I put my stick between their legs, and my hand out to slow them down. Then I steer them into the boards to stop them.”

The life lessons from the hockey defenseman?

Take risks from time to time—they do pay off. Take control of your own life to steer it where you want it to go and not where others or circumstances push it. At times, we have to go backward to go forward.

My son James has always played forward as a right-winger. To score, James has to overcome his opponent’s defenseman, and the opposition’s forwards who back-check. When I asked James how he accomplishes this, he said: “My speed is usually faster than the defenseman skating backwards, and as a result I can maneuver better. When my body looks like I am going to go left, I pull the puck far to my right, then break out after it and get around the defenseman. Then I shoot on the net.” As I see it, James also has the advantage of seeing the whole ice before him.

What are the lessons from the hockey forward?

Anticipate what is ahead. Negotiate the roadblocks. And a lesson that we know well at Toastmasters—sometimes you just have to fake it to make it!

Ladies and gentleman, I have never played a game of hockey, but that has not stopped me from appreciating its beauty, its excitement and its valuable moral lessons. Everything that is worth knowing about life, I learned from my children in a hockey rink.