And now we can enjoy the outdoors and all the wonderful, joyous, super-spectacular things that come with not having to wear thick layers. Sunday’s snow? Blip on the radar.

Besides, if you can survive a day-two blizzard at the 2010 NWT Track and Field Championships in Hay River with only a windbreaker while those around you fall because of hypothermia that came about due to not listening to Geoff Buerger on the public address microphone telling you to get inside the school and stay warm and not be outside if you don’t have to be but, no, you’ve just finished running your heat in the 100-metre dash and you’re tough and then you drop because your body temperature has flatlined, what’s a short wet snow flurry?

Anyway …

This time two years ago, people couldn’t wait to drag their locked-down butts out the door not just for the 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’s only so many games of Punch-Out on the NES Classic you can play before you say to yourself, “I can’t beat Soda Popinski anymore … he was easier when I was nine.”

Don’t write in and accuse me of not loving my family. I do. Very much. Seriously. No, really. Isn’t that right, honey?

Golf season is underway already and it’s been around for a little more than a week. It doesn’t take a lot of advertising to get people to head out and play 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 meet all the then-regulations and still play a proper round. The only thing that changed was how you could be at the course: no tee time, no appearance. Now, the Yellowknife Golf Club played fast and loose with that rule in past years because at many clubs around the world, you can’t show up and play without a reservation. Our club has fallen into line, it would appear, because it was a necessity in order to operate.

If the pandemic taught us anything, it taught us that people love to hit things. Frustration of being locked inside your domicile for weeks on end may have been the root cause of that but tennis was perhaps the one sport which gained the most courtesy of Covid-19. The Yellowknife Tennis Club saw its numbers boom to the point where waiting lists had to be made for some of the club’s offerings. Tournaments also saw its popularity balloon — no longer did the club have to ask people to sign up in order to make up the numbers but rather, the announcements became one of expedience because there may have been one or two spots left in some brackets.

Filling a 16-player bracket in men’s and women’s singles isn’t a chore anymore.

And let’s not forget the raison d’etre of Tommy Forrest Ball Park and Fritz Thiel Park: softball. The Yellowknife Fastball League was the first organized amateur sports league anywhere in Canada to get going once the restrictions loosened enough for actual sports to actually happen. Don’t think then-president Garrett Hinchey didn’t know the responsibility on his and the executives’ shoulders. They were the test rabbits for outdoor team sports and if they dropped the ball, you may as well have considered it a hand grenade because nothing would have happened in the summer of 2020. Luckily — happily, even — they didn’t and it was a successful season, one which showed that yes, we can all come together and play sports outdoors and all was right with the world.

2021 came and went and it went even better than 2020 did with less restrictions and the numbers seem to stay the same, maybe even grew a bit in the case of tennis and softball. Again, lots of people play golf. But now we come to that time where things are relatively back to normal, or at least something resembling what life used to be until the ‘rona. Now that we can fly again and now that we can do almost all of what we could do, will that have an affect on what sports will look like in the summer?

I certainly hope that people who took up tennis two summers ago will continue to play and not abandon the ship. Too many sport organizations both here and abroad have been bludgeoned, pillaged and maimed by not being able to operate for whatever silly, stupid reason(s) (I will still never understand why adults were allowed back indoors but kids weren’t) and because of that, we have a generation of children who have become socially malnourished, functionally malleable and so far behind in almost everything that you couldn’t even find the starting line to begin bringing them back to where they should have been months ago.

Golf seems to be off to a good start and softball will be hitting the diamonds shortly with tennis not too far behind. If ultimate is your thing, the Yellowknife Ultimate Club would be happy to have you get in touch and play. And the Yk Multisport Club is off and running (yes, I thought of that all by myself) with its 2022 spring/summer season.

What I’m trying to tell you is support what we have here. Lots of people have done a lot of work to make it happen and all they need is you.

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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