Victoria Park outdoor rinks open for shinny, skating
It’s been game on at the Victoria Park outdoor skating rinks since Goderich councillor Trevor Bazinet officially opened them up to the public the afternoon of Dec. 18, 2016, after weeks of work.
In the seven days leading up to the unceremonious opening, Bazinet said he had put in a good 40 hours getting the rinks up to snuff.
“The week’s been a lot of work, not going to lie,” the councillor said with a laugh. “I’ve had a number of volunteers come over and help when they can. It’s a lot of work to do this and I hope people will appreciate this and I’m sure they will.”
This is the third year of the two outdoor rinks but the first year they have been open before Christmas, Bazinet said, adding that he is glad about that as it gives school students on break something active to do during the holidays.
The rink is not only for kids but for all community members, which what gives Bazinet the most satisfaction about this project.
“The satisfaction for me is you get to see all ages over here enjoying it,” he said. “It’s not just for the young kids, it’s also for the senior people who are over here in the morning enjoying it as well. And whenever I come over people are always thanking me and they have smiles on their faces and enjoying themselves and that’s what it’s all about. It’s providing something free, outdoors for the community to take advantage of.”
However, Bazinet sees more of a future for the rinks and is in talks with Nadine Vanden Heuvel of Goderich’s Fit Body Boot Camp about organizing a 3-on-3 tournament during this upcoming February’s ICE tacular winter festival in town.
He said i t would be expanding an already positive festival.
“[ It’s] just another fun event to add to our winter fest. We want to provide different things for different ages in our community that weekend. Last year … there was snow pitch and we’re going to do hockey if we can,” he said.
This is all dependant on weather, of course, as it would not have been possible to hold the tournament last year as the temperatures were too warm.
But from the looks of it, Bazinet thinks the rinks could be up and running untilmarch.
The cost of the rinks per yare runs between $ 4,000 and $ 6,000 all of which he said comes from donations and sponsorship.
Those wishing to use the ice for either shinny hockey or pleasure skating are asked only to ensure the area is kept clean and to give the ice a once over before leaving.
“All I ask is for people to keep it clean and before they leave to grab a shovel and shovel off some snow,” hesaid.
Volunteers pose on one of the two rinks for a picture on Dec. 17, the day before the ice surfaces were opened to the public for skating.
Two youth volunteer to be human zambonis and shovel snow from the ice in the days leading up to the rinks’ opening.
Goderich councillor Trevor Bazinet takes a selfie with one of the two rinks behind him.