Community Rink

by | Mar 23, 2020 | Community, Our Stories

This winter a small group from WMBC had a vision to give back to the community by creating an outdoor ice rink.
It was a great first season and we are excited to see where this project goes in the coming winters.

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“We’re building rinks in our backyard, why not build one for the community?”

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“We’re building rinks in our backyard, why not build one for the community?”

With that thought, a small group started taking steps toward building a community rink at WMBC. Like most ideas, momentum began to stall, when Justin Falk asked, “is this going to happen? Or are we just talking?”

Soon a tarp was purchased and with the help of city staff, the rink was flooded, scraped and cleared. Bruce Kroeker says the partnership with the city was a dream, as they’ve gone above and beyond helping maintain the rink. “They saw the need,” Marlon Kuhl adds. “Winter is long, and this is an opportunity for exercise and sunshine.”

However, Justin adds they definitely needed the city’s support. He notes Parks and Rec staff like Jordan Driedger, Terry Fehr and Rick Shroeder were instrumental, both in their excitement for the project and even taking time outside of work to pitch in.

Al Froese says the rink is also a practical witness to their neighbours, adding they love to see the kids and the newcomers who are lacing up thanks to the neighourhood rink.

Bruce says they didn’t feel like the project was a “church” thing but simply a group of people who had an idea and wanted to serve their community.

 

Now, more kids will get the chance as well.

The project didn’t feel like a “church” thing but simply a group of people who had an idea and wanted to serve their community.

The project didn’t feel like a “church” thing but simply a group of people who had an idea and wanted to serve their community.

After opening, the small group gathered to pray a blessing on the rink, believing God would use it for His glory. Marlon says they knew the idea fit with the collective vision of changing people’s perception of the church. “We wanted to love people in the community.”

And the idea is just getting started. The group is still gauging interest but say this first iteration was like planting a seed.

Justin explains they dream of adding boards and a warming shack along with lights. A humble place to play, the NHL alumni says, as he remembers learning the game on a small community rink in Snowflake. His favourite hockey moments in his long career, he says, were always those nights and afternoons outside, playing for the sheer love of the game.

Now, more kids will get the chance as well.