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Mom Mondays: Locker Room Talk – Size Matters!


Most of the lockers rooms in our neck of the woods are quiet this time of the year. The hockey players have wrapped up their seasons and have passed the locker room torch on to lacrosse players for the next few months. The locker rooms have been especially quiet at our local arena because it is closed right now as it undergoes a much needed makeover. The arena expansion project has been as much the talk of this town as the many hockey games it’s hosted over the past forty years.
While it’s true that our federal and municipal governments are providing much of the funding, there have also been dozens of fundraising events with proceeds going to this important local project. This fundraising started years ago, so it’s exciting to finally see the perimeter safety fencing going up and the trucks rolling in.
While I have seen the architect’s drawings of the project, I’m really excited to see the completed building once finally unveiled. As in many older arenas in Canada, the locker rooms at our local rink were incredibly small. Itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny. Barely large enough to hold a few atoms let alone a few Atoms or Adams! I know every hockey mom has encountered one of those relic rinks where the locker rooms are the size of a peanut. I have my fair share of memories associated with thimble-size rooms. 
There is never... 

  • Enough room for both bags and players, let alone parents.
  • Any part of the floor visible under all the players and gear.
  • A way to open or close the locker room door without exposing a half-dressed player to the throng of people in the foyer.
  • Any privacy if the washroom – God forbid – was to be used.
  • Any semblance of peace or quiet or possibility of conversation as the Bluetooth speaker blared the music.

And there was always... 

  • One kid who wants to get to the arena first, not because he or she’s excited for the big game but because they want to make sure they get a seat in the dressing room.
  • At least two goalies suiting up in the foyer because that’s the only place they can safely put on their pads without fear of having their fingers severed by a highly excited and over-ambulant skate-wearing teammate.
  • One or two members of the Visitor’s team asking, “Do we get two dressing rooms?” and in response hearing “Are you kidding me?!!” 
  • Teenage boys’ teams taking turns dressing for games and practices because there simply isn’t enough room for their man-sized gear and their selves to be in one room together.
  • Those parents that tripped over hockey bags trying to get out after helping their kids suit up for games and practices 
  • Those who were envious of the spacious referee rooms or the alternate dressing room (for the girls on a mostly boys team).

The nostalgia associated with these vintage arenas is understandable. There is glorious history in so many local Canadian arenas. But not even that wistfulness can fit into these locker rooms. These fond and not-so-fond memories will soon be in the past as new walls, doors and benches are placed in big, bright, spacious new locker rooms. Frankly, I can’t wait.
Three cheers for locker rooms – size really does matter! 

Tags: minor hockey

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