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Ottawa’s gay hockey team is recruiting

Rough and ready? Or just want to play?

The Ottawa-Gatineau Gay Hockey Association team.
Gay hockey in July?
 
Yes, there’s gay hockey in July. And the team needs new players.
 
But don’t worry if you’re not the greatest player or if you haven’t played since high school. Stéphane Bélair, Ottawa-Gatineau Gay Hockey Association (OGGHA) president, says his team wants people to have fun. And if you’re competitive, there’s a game for that too.
 
OGGHA meets twice a week, for scrimmage at Carleton University and more competitive hockey at the Minto Rink on Lancaster Ave. Guys, girls and straights and gays alike play in this pickup hockey team and have drinks together afterwards.
 
“Whenever new players show interest, we invite them. It’s a smaller group and they try it out to see if they like it,” says Bélair. “We have something for everyone. The Carleton league has no refs. A lot of guys just like to play the games without it being too competitive. Some guys prefer a competitive atmosphere and we get that when we play at the Minto arena.”
 
Bélair says most of the new OGGHA players haven’t played hockey in years. But as they break out their gear, their eternal Canadian love of hockey returns.
 
“When we recruit new players, hockey seems intimidating. People are always hesitant. A lot of our regulars came back to hockey that way. The group is friendly. You get into it. A guy we tried convincing for seven years is playing regularly,” says Bélair.

OGGHA began in January 1998. Guys wanted to play hockey but did not feel comfortable with the jokes around the locker room. So they made their own league.
 

“1998 was a different time. But a lot of guys still want to play hockey on a team where sexual orientation isn’t an issue,” says Bélair.
 
OGGHA always needs extra players and joining costs are minimal. The team divides the cost of ice time amongst all the players. Just bring your equipment. If you don’t have any equipment, the team can help. 
 
For more information, check out OGGHA’s website at ogcapitals.ca. If you want to join the team, send an email through the “How to join” section or info@ogcapitals.ca.