Snowbirds Hockey: Retirees on Ice

Snowbirds Hockey: Retirees on Ice

From all walks of life, Florida retirees have more fun playing ice hockey than you can shake a shtick at. (AARP)

Rather than lifting weights and jogging on the beach, these Florida “snowbirds” – retirees who formerly lived in cold climates – prefer to strap on their skates and play ice hockey. The Snowbird Hockey Club is made up of former professional players, men who have been skating since childhood, and some who have a hard time even standing up on skates. All have a fine time working out on the ice and relentlessly kidding each other in this fast-paced AARP video.

Three times a week in the winter, 65 players gather at the rink and try not to hurt each other while they play fairly fierce hockey in full uniform, followed by a restorative trip to the local pub for beer and conversation. Quick edits between action on the ice, commentary, and self-deprecating one-liners keep the video lively and fun. “We used to get together and talk about girls … now it’s orthopedic surgeons,” quips one member.

Although ice hockey would seem to be a dangerous choice for the seniors — the oldest of whom is 78 — the club proves that restricting players to the same age group lowers the risk. The men also motivate each other to ignore their aches and pains and show up to get the exercise they need to stay healthy. “Hockey is a sport you can play and love forever,” says club member and former hockey broadcaster Brian McFarlane.


Length: 3:27

Video and editing by Matthew Apthorp
Produced by Nicole Shea and Miranda Harple