If you ask the Ice players who their most dedicated fans are, they would all agree that it’s Eleanor and Bob Holmes – the couple that are simply referred to by the team as Grammie and Grampi.
Eleanor and Bob started watching ringette games in the early nineties when their granddaughters, Katie and Carrie Lugg, started playing. They fell in love with the sport, and since then they have rarely missed a game no matter where it has been played. They have travelled to out-of-town tournaments, Provincial Championships, several Ontario Winter Games, the Canada Games, and three World Championships (in Ottawa, Sweden and Finland). They attended their first National Championship held in Prince George, BC in 2000, with granddaughter Katie’s Junior AA team ……. and they have attended every National Championship since then, in every province across Canada – except Newfoundland.
Eleanor and Bob are not just dedicated fans, they are also key team volunteers. Bob is the statistician for the Ice. He has been religiously and accurately counting all the shots on goal for the Ice’s home games since the team started up in the NRL in the fall of 2005.
Eleanor actively participates in fundraising activities and helps sell tickets to the Ice’s home games. She takes her job very seriously and once even chased a spectator who didn’t stop and buy a ticket at the door, across the arena – only to find out that he was the rink attendant! Before key games Eleanor also bakes “oat cakes” for the team – a nutritious snack whose recipe is secret – but the most special thing about those oat cakes is that Grammie puts goals in them. The Ice players don’t know how she does it – they just know it works.
Despite being in their 80’s Bob and Eleanor are still going strong. They get their energy by attending senior fitness classes and work out regularly at the community centre gym. They are also avid golfers – but once the fall comes you will find them in their favourite place – an arena watching their granddaughters and their Ice team-mates play ringette.