Sharpen your skates
Students build outdoor skating rink at the Notre Dame Campus
Though it might have been a hassle, students at Red River College can finally hit the ice on the college’s new hockey rink.“I don’t think we could’ve picked a worst winter to get this project going,” said Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) president, Alex Haas. “[Because of the warm weather] we spent about a week flooding it before we finally got it done. It took a lot of extra water, but a cold snap really helped us out.”
For Red River College student Nick Hook, the project was the culmination of a goal he set out to achieve last year. Despite the work he put into it, he said the first time he skated on the new ice rink he helped build near the south-east corner of the Notre Dame Campus (NDC) was a feeling he couldn’t really describe. It was pretty cool.”
Hook, and over 600 students who signed a petition last year to get an outdoor skating rink built at the NDC, felt that the college could really benefit from a skating rink.
He argued that it would give students an additional activity to do in the winter months. Given that Winnipeggers are so passionate about winter sports, especially hockey, Hook “found it really strange that the college didn’t have (a skating rink).”
Hook worked with the RRCSA to pitch the idea to college officials.
Haas said that efforts to get approval for a skating rink immediately after the 2011-2012 RRCSA elections.
“It was a really good idea, and a great way to get community involvement and encourage physical activity.”
The petition was the first in many hurdles the RRCSA had to clear in order to get the skating rink built.
“It was really hard to get things done in such a short amount of time. I spent my summer getting approvals from college officials,” Haas said.
To Haas’ delight, officials at the college were receptive to the skating rink. “We had a lot of strong support from members of the senior executive at the college. They were really on board with the idea.”
Once approvals and funding agreements were reached, the task of building the rink on the patch of land near the Iron Man statue. Hook, Haas, and fellow student Marc Babaluk built the 75’ by 105’ frame for the rink and flooded the patch of land to create the skating surface.
Haas said the RRCSA has really helped out with the project.
“Overall, we’ve been really happy with the cooperation we’ve gotten from the college, and the support they’ve provided too.”
He hopes that they will be able to set up a permanent rink at the NDC, though any new initiatives regarding the skating rink will fall on next year’s new RRCSA executive.