Many people think that because I teach so many fitness classes per week, I could get away with all manners of debauchery on Friday nights. “You’re so lucky,” they say while trying to avoid the sweaty lake I deposited on the gym floor during the Friday Evening step class. “I’ll bet you can eat and drink anything you want.”

“Actually,” I said while setting traffic cones around the perimeter of the lake to warn the next class that they might need water wings, “Nothing could be further from the truth.” “In fact,” I said, “Right after class I’m heading off to L’Ecole Bilangue School for an exciting game of broomball.”

“Broomball?” they asked in unison. “I thought you played broomball on ice.”

“Normally you do,” I said. “But Vancouver winter temperatures are too balmy. There’s no natural ice, and arena ice is too expensive. So we rent an elementary school gym and run like hell for two hours.”

I started Friday night broomball twenty three years ago. I was a world-famous archaeologist who spent Friday night, and every other night, and for that matter every lunch hour, with other world-famous archaeologists. At that time, any world-famous archaeologist had to earn his or her mason’s trowel. We earned archaeological integrity by spending our off hours in the local bars sopping up the suds and frolicking with beautiful and mysterious women.

Frankly, with the exception of the beautiful and mysterious women, I became tired of it. I grew tired of disposing of all my disposable income at the bar. Although I enjoyed waking in the morning with a variety of beautiful and mysterious women, I hated the hangovers. I suspected everyone else did too. I decided to organize Friday Night Broomball games.

We’ve been playing ever since.

Many broomball players think that because I teach so many fitness classes per week, I should be able to score more goals than anyone else. “Why does your broomball playing suck so much?” they ask while wiping that trail of slime I put on the floor. “All you’re good for is standing there and sweating.” It’s true. Most of the players avoid me in the corners, fearing they might get drenched. My passes always get intercepted, and my stick handling allows me to carry the ball a few inches. My shot is so weak that the goaltender could read the entire Saturday Review of The Sun in the interval between the shot and the save.

“After almost thirty years of playing, you should score once in a while.” They say. “Even if it’s by accident.”

This Friday, everything changed. I felt pumped after my class, and when I entered the gym, I noticed my shot became stronger and harder. It was almost accurate. The usual Friday fare consists of two hours of running and shooting and shouting familiar athletic phrases as: “Change Ends, “”Oral Sex,” and “Let’s go to the pub.”

During the last fifteen minutes we play all-out four on four. “Its BEST OF WHATEVER!” someone would yell. The pace immediately changes. Those once tired find new energy. We pass the ball with accuracy and determination. Every goal counts in BEST OF WHATEVER.

On Friday I played defense. The ball, deep in the other end, magically appeared on the end of my broom. I struck it, and it went in a slow parabolic arc over the goaltender’s shoulder and into the net. A miracle!

The other team scored three goals through my Swiss cheese defense. I swapped positions with Steve. He stole the ball from Verne and passed it to me. My stick was on the floor and I shot it off a defender’s head and into the net. Terry, our goaltender got the ball and found my stick. The game was tied. Three miracles to three.

Five seconds left. The ball was passed to me. I wound up and . . .



If you live in the Vancouver area, and feel the urge for a little light headed frivolity meshed with good humour and some exercise, you can join us for an exciting game of broomball on another Friday night. call me at 604-464-4195.



Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at michaelb@neilsquire.ca. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates

When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia.



  1. Rose A. Valenta Says:


    That was a great read! Thanks for the laughs.


  2. joanie19 Says:

    Consider this my RSVP and you’re buying all of our flights…right?

  3. Sharon Says:

    Aw, Mike, you’re mean… but clever ending. Sounds like you need Secret “all over your bod-dy” to paraphrase Jonathan Winters.

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