Ice skating is a great way to get your body moving during the winter and get to know other community members.
In conjunction with Hockey Edmonton, Delton Community League, Eastwood Community League, and Spruce Avenue Community League are working together to bring a hockey league for the neighbourhood youth. Each rink will have one day dedicated to practice and learning to skate.
“We’ve gotten a lot of interest, we’ve gotten 140 registers right now,” says Gaetan Benoit, Eastwood’s facilities/sports director. “Most community leagues have equipment available for kids or can get some […], so I would encourage any parent that wants their kids to experience outdoor skating or hockey to just contact their local community league.”
Benoit says the Eastwood rink is not supervised, but the skate shack will be open sometimes and if it’s not open, kids will be able to put on their skates at the east side of the rink shack.
Benoit says that rinks are often underutilized. He explains that the idea of a hockey league has been floating around for the past couple years, but this year different community leagues and volunteers got on board to make it happen.
“It’s really been so far a real grassroots community-led program,” Benoit says. “I’m always happy to see people out there using the space and this program will bring our community together.”
Benoit says organizers need volunteers to keep the rink running smoothly. He encourages people who don’t know how to skate to come and help with non-skating activities, such as tying skates for children.
“It’s a beautiful opportunity to build community,” Benoit says.
Verna Stainthorp, treasurer for Spruce Avenue Community League, says league members skate for free and their rink is supervised. The league is offering learn to skate classes as well.
Janet Henderson, vice president of Delton Community League, says grey skate tags are needed to skate for free. People with no skate tags pay two dollars for adults and one dollar for children under 16. Henderson says people can rent the rink on Saturdays. The league leaves the rink open for minor coaches who want extra ice time for free as well.
“Anything that involves minors, we kinda just want to support them,” says Henderson.
Henderson says they’re always looking for volunteers, and if they can get grant money, they hope to host a winter meet and greet program.
Kristina Palmer, second vice president of Parkdale-Cromdale Community League, says they’re looking at potentially doing a special sport, like curling, or events on Sundays. She also says they’re planning on doing Fire Fridays, where they’re have a fire going on near the ice rink and people can hang around and chat.
Palmer says the rink is sometimes supervised by interns, mostly during the weekend and holidays. They can support one to two volunteers, but not many at this moment.
Walter Gurba Rink at Delton Community League hosts public skating from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and shinny hockey from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. On Sundays, public skating is from 1 to 3 p.m. and shinny hockey is 3 to 6 p.m. The rink is closed on Dec. 25th and 31st.
Parkdale-Cromdale Community League rink is open for family skating on Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. Shinny hockey is Monday to Friday, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Eastwood Community League rink is open on Wednesday to Friday, 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Spruce Avenue Community League is still finalizing their schedule for the rink.
All rinks are following COVID-19 guidelines.
To volunteer, contact:
Delton Community League, [email protected]
Eastwood Community League, [email protected]
Spruce Avenue Community League, Henry Stainthorp, 780.499.2649
Parkdale-Cromdale Community League, [email protected]