Shelburne residents will soon be able to use the ice rink at the local arena, following a decision from the board of management to have the ice put in for the season.
Approached by some of the local teams and programs that use the ice rink yearly, Chris Gerrits, Chair of the Centre Dufferin Recreations Complex Board of Management, says that the board subsequently made the decision to have the ice put in.
“We were approached by Shelburne Minor Hockey and figure skaters who indicated they had polled their members and there was definitely interest in running a season,” said Gerrits. “We discussed with them, had a board meeting to discuss it and we decided that we would put the ice in.”
The Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex (CDRC), located on Fiddle Lane is Shelburne, shut their doors along with other local facilities back in March as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. At the time of the closure, the ice was being used in the last weeks of the previous hockey season, but hasn’t been used since. The time frame to have the ice in and ready to be used is set for the week of Oct. 12, just after the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Staff will start preparing for that, it takes them about ten days to get every cooled and ready to go,” said Gerrits. “They’re going to be working on that so that it’s available for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.”
The board is currently working on draft procedures and safety protocols, comparing across Shelburne Minor Hockey, Hockey Canada, the figure skating organization and Public Health, that will be decided at their next meeting on Wednesday (Sept. 23).
Gerrits says the procedures will be similar to the ones used during the summer, following the opening of the town pool.
Shelburne Coun. Lindsay Wegener, noted in a Facebook post that the season will be split between hockey, figure skating, and the public from October to December and says that after assessment of operations, participation, and COVID-19 protocol, a January to March season will continue.
“At the end of the day we are a facility that offers a service primarily through ice hockey, swimming, and summer camps and if we’re able to do that then my thought is we should be open, observing the proper procedures and if the government tells us that we have to do a complete shutdown, then that’s something we have to do,” said Gerrits.
The ice rink at the CRDC is scheduled to be open on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press