Amazing turnout for Spring Break Skate / Stick & Puck

Community members appreciative of free ice time during school breaks

Over the last week in March, the rinks came alive at Dakota CC with people of all ages carving up the ice enjoying a leisurely skate, or honing their puck (or ring) skills for the upcoming playoffs. All week long both rinks were active with free public skating and Stick & Puck.

Dakota CC has been providing free ice time for members of the community during school break periods (Christmas & Spring) since 2015.  Four hours are set aside each day during these periods for both public skating and stick & puck (or ring), without any charge for participants.

“It’s an enjoyable atmosphere with music playing,” says Randy Anderson, Dakota CC’s Program Director. “Family members can get together for a skate, pass the puck around. People can get together for some unstructured play time.”

It wasn’t only families that came out to strap on the skates. People of all ages made use of the ice time, on their own or with a friend. Randy says, “It’s a nice environment for older adults looking for some exercise. It’s also a chance for people to try out skating and for children to learn how to skate.”

Each day and ice time saw record numbers during the week.  With numerous people on the ice at one time, measures are in place to keep participants safe by monitoring the numbers of skaters on the ice at any given time, monitoring slap shots, avoiding scrimmages, games of tag and, requiring skaters to wear helmets.

Jared Neufeld, Dakota CC’s Program Coordinator, says, “We want to make sure that the space is safe for everyone. It’s about fun however, when we have so many people coming out at one time, it’s also about safety.”

Jared, who was on the ice monitoring the event first hand agrees. “There were amazing numbers each day this spring break.”  “We’ve certainly seen the numbers of people taking advantage of this free ice time increase substantially since this all started during Christmas break 2015. It’s also a great opportunity for members of the community to meet up with each other and have some fun together. There is something for everyone!” says Jared

Overall the event was a success for all involved. “It is so wonderful to see so many people enjoying this opportunity,” says Randy. “It’s a free skate with no charge to the participants, so it’s one way the Dakota Community Centre can give back to our community.”

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