What image speaks more of small town Saskatchewan in the winter than that of kids and ice! However, that image has shifted from what we pictured of old of kids skating on a frozen pond, one with a hockey stick in hand while another practiced figure skating turns. Now a days, skating time is slotted into the schedule at the local arena between hockey practices and games. Public skating is more time to practice speed and maneuverability so for little people the ice surface can become a very scary place to be, full of bigger kids who whiz past or slide to a stop right in front of them. And lets face it, not every kid wants to be a hockey star, some kids just want to play around on the ice and have fun, and there is nothing wrong with that. How then do communities accommodate both? Well, the Rec Boards in both Wakaw and Rosthern came up with a solution.
In Wakaw, on what is the ‘green space’ on Dr Scott Cres during the summer, and up until this winter has just been a place to pile up snow, the Rec Board built a small outdoor rink complete with small size nets for the younger kids to play on. The rink surface isn’t large but then it doesn’t need to be regulation size, it is after all for fun and fun can come in all shapes and sizes. In Rosthern, they saw the same need and set out to do something about it as well. Behind the rink under the structure that is used for a stable during the Fair, one will find another outdoor rink for people to enjoy. While Rosthern’s outdoor rink may be a bit bigger than the one in Wakaw, the idea is the same, winter goes by a lot faster if you’re out having fun.
Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder