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St. Anthony N.L. women named to provincial broomball hall of fame

From left, Maddie Ollerhead, Sandra Sinyard and Linda Anstey were inducted into the provincial Broomball Hall of Fame earlier this month. The honour comes to each of the three women in recognition of outstanding contribution to broomball in the province as a builder.
From left, Maddie Ollerhead, Sandra Sinyard and Linda Anstey were inducted into the provincial Broomball Hall of Fame earlier this month. The honour comes to each of the three women in recognition of outstanding contribution to broomball in the province as a builder. - Contributed
ST. ANTHONY, N.L. —

The efforts of three St. Anthony women in growing broomball in the province have not gone unnoticed.

Maddie Ollerhead, Sandra Sinyard and Linda Anstey are three of the four latest inductees into the Newfoundland and Labrador Broomball Hall of Fame.

During a ceremony on March 9, they were inducted as builders, most specifically for their role in establishing the St. Anthony’s junior girls’ broomball league in 1993.

The trio were involved in the league together for about a decade, with Ollerhead acting as manager, Anstey as head coach and Sinyard as assistant coach for the team known as the St. Anthony SABRI Northern Prawns.

Ollerhead also served as the vice-president of Broomball NL for a period.

This award was the first presented for broomball in St. Anthony. It was pieced together by Joe Boyd, the St. Anthony Olympia stadium manager, in 1972, using bubblegum as broomballs and a piece of cardboard to convert a hockey stick into a broom.
This award was the first presented for broomball in St. Anthony. It was pieced together by Joe Boyd, the St. Anthony Olympia stadium manager, in 1972, using bubblegum as broomballs and a piece of cardboard to convert a hockey stick into a broom.

Anstey, who now lives in Twilingate, left in 2003, while Ollerhead stepped aside in 2007. Sinyard continued on until the team’s last game in 2015.

Through those years, Ollerhead, Sinyard and Anstey worked very hard organizing and fundraising for the team.

From 1999 to 2000, Anstey estimates they had to raise more than $100,000 to procure the equipment and get the team to tournaments across the country.

They sold subs, cold plates, and bars. They recycled, held dances and bingos, and made and sold the local community calendar. The girls, all aged 13 to 19, played their part going door-to-door and selling what they could, and never had a problem getting what they needed.

In fact, they say they were jokingly known by some people as the “Broomball Mafia” for their ability to raise money.

Through these efforts, they were able to travel to three national championships and one Atlantic tournament. During this time, the Northern Prawns enjoyed plenty of success.

The three women say their favourite memory was the girls winning gold at the Atlantic region championship in Liverpool, N.S., in 1997. They also took home most sportsmanlike team honours at the 1997 nationals in Leduc, Alta., and won that award again, as well as the bronze medal, in Embrun, Ont., in 2000.

They agree the highlight of the whole endeavour was simply working with the girls.

“They were really good ambassadors for Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Anstey.

However, the success for the “Broomball Mafia” didn’t end there.

In 2004, with Ollerhead, Anstey and Sinyard in their usual roles of manager, head coach and assistant coach, they led a Newfoundland and Labrador team to a B division gold medal at the world championship after just one practice.

“It was the day before the world’s started because there was no way we could get them together,” said Anstey.

In between everything they else, they organized a senior team for the Great Northern Peninsula to play in provincials for a few years.

“We lived broomball,” said Ollerhead.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

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