In 1992, Jim Gatley, LLB 1994, decided to gather some of his classmates together and created a hockey league to help manage the stresses that can come with attending law school. 25 years later, the tradition continues and their kids have been welcomed onto the ice with them.
The group recently got together for their annual game and evening out in Ottawa, and Jim answered a few questions about Canada’s favourite game for us:
- What inspired the annual hockey game?
I started the league when all of us were at the beginning of our second year (1992). I’m not a very good hockey player, but I thought it would be a good thing to get people together outside of the classroom. There were a number of clubs at the law school then, but not many (if any at all) that were open to everyone, and that were sports-oriented. Most of the clubs were for constructed around racial, political or similar lines. I obtained funding from the law school to help pay for the ice rental, and sponsorship from Father & Sons. We played every Wednesday morning from 11 – 12 and then went to Father & Sons for lunch. The cost per player for the whole season was $20. The league is non-contact, shinny hockey. Players cannot raise the puck, and the only hockey equipment we wore was skates, gloves and helmets.
We played throughout second and third year. It was open to law students from other years, who occasionally played with us.
- What does it mean to be able to get together with your former university classmates?
As you can imagine, it’s great – people travel from all across Canada every five years to get together. We rent two hours of ice time because the first 30 minutes is usually spend talking on the ice and catching up, we then play for 1.5 hours, take some time to get cleaned up and then we have a big night of eating and drinking at a local Ottawa pub (spouses and kids are invited, and many of them attend). It’s actually a big deal in our lives – everyone looks forward to it.
- Do you plan to continue the tradition?
Definitely. Everyone has indicated that we are keeping up the tradition until the last of us dies.