The sounds of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ come from the Sidney Street School gym.
It is close to 7pm on a chilly Thursday, and three people have arrived: Brent Mason, Keith Schmidt and Taylor Zoethout.
They begin putting up a volleyball net, as more 80s music plays and more people show.
The new arrivals are Verity Pahtayken; Clarice Suba; Kyeina Noval; Tealyn Whitefish; Wallace Whitefish; Terrilyn Mosquito; Braeden Sayer; Kristina Birchall; Brayden Wickenheiser; Melissa Wickenheiser, and Terrylyn Francis.
There is a broad range of ages, from students to the middle-aged.
Masks are worn, even during play, because of COVID regulations still in effect in February.
By the time of the first serve, two teams of six are playing, with two players waiting on the sidelines.
It is a typical turnout for volleyball night, a recreational activity on offer in Maple Creek for decades.
“I’ve been coming since the 1980s,” says Mason, who is also credited with being behind recreational badminton on Monday nights at the school gym.
What is the appeal of two hours of volleyball on a Thursday night?
“It is about socializing and having fun,” Mason says.
“It is a way of getting to know more people.”
Anyone from about Grade 10 upwards is invited to turn up. Of course, there are costs involved. To cover the gym rental, there is a $3 drop-in fee.
The News-Times spent about 30 minutes with the players, taking photographs. When we left, a new game had started … and Blondie’s Heart of Glass was filling the air.
There is no silence on this court.
• Check Maple Creek & Area Events Facebook page for updates on recreational volleyball and badminton updates.