Hockey enthusiast builds buzz, works to create in-line league

  • Published
  • By Amanda Creel
  • 78 ABW/PA
Saturdays, the corner of Warner Robins and 10th street is a mecca for hockey enthusiasts from about 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The corner is home to an in-line hockey rink, where ball and street hockey players can join in on a Saturday pickup game or spectators can watch hockey sticks clash and pucks fly.

Hockey enthusiast Rich Winsor, avionics technician with F-15 electronic warfare avionics, was thrilled when he discovered the base had its own rink where he could test his skates.

"This is the most beautiful rink I have ever seen," he said.

However, disappointment set in when he discovered the rink wasn't living up to its full potential.

Kenneth Porter, Robins sports director, and Ron Hayes, Robins youth sports director, were also discouraged by the lack of use of the hockey rink.

"We spent the money for the rink and now it is just sitting there," Mr. Porter said. "We are just glad someone's out there using it."

This is why Mr. Winsor decided to invite some of his friends from the off-base community to strut their hockey skills on the rink each Saturday, in an effort to promote the sport and encourage others, children or adults, to come out and play.

"People are coming out and watching us so we know there is interest there," Mr. Winsor said. "I think once we make this known that we have people out here every Saturday, more people will come out and play. The worse case scenario is we will have a team come out here every Saturday and have fun."

In the long run, Mr. Winsor hopes to help stir up enough interest to start adult and children leagues here on the base. But, in the meantime he said he is hoping to generate enough participation to get an adult team together so they could begin competing against some of the other in-line hockey teams in the area.

"I really appreciate him (Mr. Winsor) stepping up to the plate because he has the interest and the knowledge of the game. He will be able to talk it up and get something started," Mr. Porter said.

Mr. Porter added the fitness center is excited about the possibility of adding the sport as an intramural sport or as a sports day activity.

After Mr. Winsor drums up enough players for an adult team, he hopes to get the players to volunteer their time at a hockey clinic for children in an effort to get players for a youth team that could compete in tournaments as well.

"If they can skate, we will put a stick in their hand and let them go for it," Mr. Winsor said.

Mr. Hayes said the Base Youth Center has had some success in the past with youth hockey programs, but the center has never been able to sustain the long-term success. Mr. Hayes encouraged anyone interested in participating in street or ball hockey to contact the youth center because he is more than willing to give it another try.

For those adults interested in playing hockey you can contact Mr. Winsor at 926-2835 or