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Outdoor rink at Simms Park starting to take shape
The "ice" is starting to go in at the outdoor rink in Simms Millennium Park.
As part of the 2014 WinterBites Festival, running Jan. 16-31 in Courtenay, an outdoor skating rink is being erected in the park and the Comox Valley Minor Hockey Association is sponsoring three pond hockey jamborees on the synthetic surface.
Kicking things off will be an Initiation (ages 5 to 6) jamboree on Jan. 18-19. This will be a 4-on-4 format event with teams playing a minimum of four games.
Next up will be a Novice (ages 7 and 8) jamboree on Jan. 24-16 with a 3-on-3 format and minimum four games, followed by an Atom (ages 9 and 10) jamboree on Jan. 31-Feb. 2 with a 3-on-3 format and minimum five games.
CVMHA Atom division manager Melissa Berrigan says, "All our kids are completely pumped. They're really looking forward to it. They think it'll be a blast skating outdoors."
Berrigan notes the jamborees will be sharing outdoor ice time with public skating, so some of the games will be played at the three local arenas.
“We’re really excited that the rink provides the chance for local hockey players as well as skaters to get involved and be showcased outside,” says CVMHA vice-president Bruce Dyke.
“Winter is about getting outdoors so to bring some of the winter wonderland down to the streets of Courtenay means more for families and outdoor enthusiasts to actively participate in, in the heart of the city.”
Derek Kwan, marketing director of BH Skating which manufactures the rinks, says the synthetic ice surface that is coming to Courtenay will be one of the largest the company has put together.
The panels are dovetailed together (like a giant puzzle), and Kwan says it should take a two- or three-person crew about eight hours to assemble the one in Simms Park.
Kwan notes BH Skating was standing by as a back-up to the outdoor ice rink at Robson Square during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.