About two years ago I arrived at Hopewell School on a Monday night to play volleyball for the first time in 19 years. I was unsure if I could still serve the ball in a straight line, or be able to walk the next day after muscle soreness set in. I was immediately greeted by Bob Adamyk who, for the last thirty years, has coordinated recreational sports at Hopewell School for community members interested in playing volleyball, basketball and badminton.
I had no idea that night that I was entering into an incredible community of people who found friendship, laughter, grooving to good music and helping each other up after a fall every week, some for twenty years or more! This feeling of community and belonging was fostered by Bob who, through encouragement and benevolent derision, coaxed all of us to laugh and let the stresses of everyday-life melt away on the court. Bob had a secret formula of mixing players of different skill levels, to ensure that everyone had fun.
This May, Bob marked thirty years of showing up every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from September to May to set up nets, balls and birdies, and loosely referee recreational games. In all that time, he rarely missed a week, and postponed travel and other commitments in order to be present with all of us. This, however, was his last season.
As Bob sets off to start a new journey with his family in Russell, all of us who have enjoyed his humour and welcoming attitude would like to thank him for his time and commitment. Our enjoyment of these sports nights, and what kept us coming back week after week, and year after year, is in large part attributable to Bob.
Local resident, Kate Jaimet shared her thoughts on Bob: “Even though Bob could never be trusted with line calls, we could always count on him to create a fun and fair atmosphere at Monday night volleyball. The rockin’ tunes on his ghetto blaster carried us through from 7:30 pm warm-up games to the 10:00 pm ‘Championship of the World!’”
Tim Hewson, who Bob welcomed by name from the first night that he showed up, played badminton on Wednesday nights and said, “it’s a testament to Bob that even players who were injured and couldn’t play, would show up each week just to hang out and chat with Bob about any topic under the sky. Bob could talk to anyone about anything.” In this way, Bob was truly a community connector and leader. He will be sorely missed, and we all hope he’ll return from the sticks on occasion to perform his signature moves on the court!
Danielle Rolfe is an Old Ottawa South resident and relative newbie among the long-time group of community members who play volleyball at Hopewell School every Monday night.
Originally published in the July-August 2019 OSCAR.