Aylmer Spitfires on verge of folding

Aylmer Spitfires Junior C hockey club will come to an end within the next two weeks if new volunteers don’t come forward to help run it, the team has warned.

The team for players 16 through 21 years old was formed 18 years ago.

Yvonne Gavey, in an announcement on behalf of the team said, “When 21 local hockey enthusiasts decided to form a Junior hockey club here in Aylmer, it was with one goal in mind: To provide young players an opportunity to continue to play competitive hockey after their minor hockey years ended.”

That wasn’t easy, she continued. “Part of what was required was to pay the debt of the past failed hockey club, the (Junior B) Aylmer Aces. These men dug deep into their pockets to come up with almost $50,000 and moved forward. The result was a successful team.

“As time passed the volunteers have dwindled as they have grown older and are tired. And then there is COVID.”

Ms. Gavey said there were so many unknown factors at the moment. The team didn’t know if another lockdown was coming, if they could play at all, what capacity limits would be set for arenas and whether players or even spectators would be required to be vaccinated.

Then came fundraising. “Over the years we have relied on the generosity of the great people of Aylmer for donations. How do you ask a business to give when they’ve had the worst year ever because of the pandemic?

“We believe we can overcome all obstacles but we will need many additional volunteers to do so.  Ultimately this is where we stand.

“We need help in many aspects of the operation. Hockey knowledge is beneficial but not necessary.

“The existing members are very willing to help with the transition to a new crop of volunteers. Enthusiasm is a must.

“If volunteers don’t come forward, the team will have no choice but to fold. This would be a shame, as the chances of getting another team in the future will be next to impossible.”

She urged anyone willing to help to contact any Spitfires board member within the next two weeks.

She can be reached at waynegavey@live.com.