Community Centre Rink Needs Volunteer Support

Thank you The Sou’wester for covering this important news. 


Community centre rink needs volunteer support

By: Kelsey James     Posted: Monday, Oct. 18, 2021

The Whyte Ridge Community Centre has issued a call for community members to help with repairing the centre’s east hockey rink.

Kim O’Hara, president of the Whyte Ridge Community Centre, told The Sou’wester the centre’s two rinks are utilized for recreational skating and by various hockey teams for practice, but are no longer safe for the community to use.

“I think, especially during COVID, the rinks have been a safe space for youth who have been impacted by not having indoor sports,” O’Hara said. “It’s been better this year, but last year it was a place for kids to socialize in a manner that allowed for social distancing.”

Over the past few years, the rinks, located at 170 Fleetwood Rd., have fallen into disrepair through general wear and tear. The centre received land dedication funding through the city, spearheaded by Coun. Janice Lukes (Waverley West Ward), and were able to hire a company to repair the gates.

“In addition, the land on our east rink has settled. Our boards were a bit high on one end, so the pucks would go right under the boards and to the other side,” O’Hara said. “The water also went right under as we were flooding the rinks.”

After initial repairs, the community centre noticed some more boards were rotten and broken through use.

That was when they made their first call for community help.

“We actually had 12 volunteers from the community come out, which was fantastic, and we were able to replace those boards ourselves,” O’Hara said.

Now, the centre is hoping to have more volunteers come out in October to assist with skirting and repairing the boards in the east rink.

So far, the community centre has only had board members commit to volunteering, but they just put the call out over Thanksgiving weekend.

“Some people said they enjoyed doing it the first time,” O’Hara said. “It was a beautiful day, and it was nice to meet some members of the community.

“There was one couple who had actually just moved to Whyte Ridge and thought it was a good opportunity to meet people and find out what the Whyte Ridge community centre does.”

O’Hara said they couldn’t even hire a contractor at this time because of how in demand they are.

“So, it’s a way to save money, but it’s also a way for residents to take pride in the community centre,” she said. “We don’t charge kids to come skate, so it would be nice for parents to be able to tell their kids, ‘Hey, I replaced that board.’”

Going forward, the community centre will probably have to look at replacing boards every spring and fall. The ones they’ve focused on so far have just been the most damaged.

In non-COVID years, the Whyte Ridge Community Centre has also hosted a holiday skate in December and annual winter carnival in January, both of which rely heavily on the rinks.

Rink repairs are scheduled for Sat., Oct. 23, with a weather date of Sun., Oct. 24.

Those interested in volunteering can contact O’Hara at president@whyteridge.ca

More information on the Whyte Ridge Community Centre can be found at www.whyteridge.ca