There’s nothing more Canadian than being able to go for a skate outside on a frozen pond or outdoor ice surface, especially when there is gently falling snow. The scene is almost postcard worthy and thanks to a few local gentlemen in Kipling, that experience is a reality. Alan Batters of Gee Bee Construction and several community minded volunteers got together to build an outdoor ice surface for families in and around Kipling.
“It’s around 100 (feet) wide and approximately 180 feet long and it’s kind of an oval shape,” explained Batters. “We put lines in it this year. It’s a little bit more hockey-like this year than last year but still has that pond effect because its got no boards.”
This is the second year for the outdoor rink with some added amenities including the addition of lights and firepits to keep kids and families warm. COVID-19 has, unfortunately, forced limited operations of arenas around the province including in Kipling.
“The indoor rink is open limited hours so a lot of kids don’t get a chance to skate,” noted Batters. “Last year you used see kids with their hockey sticks and skates walking to the outdoor rink so it’s nice to see different kids skating.”
Batters even purchased his own ice resurfacing machine to not only maintain the outdoor arena, but to keep the memory of his late son alive.
“My son passed away in 2013 of brain cancer so I’ve got him on the Zamboni as a memorial and every time the Zamboni is on the ice, he’s on the ice,” added Batters.
Thanks to warm weather there haven’t been many days to take advantage of this beautiful new ice surface, however according to the forecast, temperatures of -10°C are expected by the weekend which has local kids eager to get back on the ice!
Hear our full interview by CLICKING HERE.
(photo by Alan Batters)