Posted by: HamptonIona | January 15, 2016

Iona Park skating open!

The Hampton Iona Community Group is pleased to advise that our rinks in Iona Park are now open and that supervised skating will be beginning on January 15.    Supervised hours are:

Monday to Thursday – 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Friday – 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Saturday – 11:30 – 5:00

Sunday – 11:30 – 5:00

This year we have four attendants: Luke Burrowes, Gabriel Kohlruss, Cayle Beneteau and Michael Nivens, of which Luke, Gabriel and Cayle are all new.    All our attendants are local area youth.

We would like to thank the City for providing us with a grant to build and operate our rink.  While many communities use the full amount of the grant to pay for professional companies to manage their rinks, we are very pleased that Hampton Iona has continued its tradition of directly operating its own rink.  We use dedicated volunteers to build the rink. Once the rink is up and running we hire local youth to supervise and maintain the rink.  For many of our attendants, being a rink supervisor is their first paid job.  We are very pleased that we are able to use a portion of the money to help local youth develop valuable job skills and provide them with some limited income.  Since most of our attendants also play hockey, it is an ideal job for them.

Without, however, our dedicated group of volunteers, the rink would never get built.  This year, it took over 25 floodings to get the great ice surface that we have now.  The following people came out several times over the course of the past few weeks to flood; David Waller, Jason Thomson, Margaret Hillier, Amos Hayes, Grant McSheffrey, Dan Pascoli, Geoff Paisley, Trevor McKay, Kim Dix, David Waller and Kristjan Wallner.  I apologize if I left anyone out.   I would like to particularly thank Amos Hayes who took over responsibility for co-ordination of the volunteers (so he could continually nag them instead of me) and Trevor McKay.  Trevor is a first year volunteer.  He actually lives outside of our immediate community in Hintonburg but agreed to volunteer earlier in the Fall when I met him at the Hintonburg AGM.  Not only did he do 9 floodings, they were mainly solo, sometimes twice per day and many of them at 5:30 am and with a new baby at home.  It is people being flexible with their time that allowed us to do multiple floodings in a day.  As well, I would like to thank the weather.  While our first snow was perhaps more than required, it was a even heavy snow from which it was relatively easy to trample a base down.  Even the rain we had last weekend was a great help in building the rink.  The rain helped to even the surface, melt the ridges, add additional water to the base and ultimately froze evenly.

Once again, we have a hockey rink, a smaller rink under the basketball net, a trail behind the swings and our ever popular oval around the wading pool.  Amos and Geoff, when building the base also trampled out a hockey rink which is probably about 1/3rd larger than our normal surface.  Not only is the ice great, but it is our biggest skating surface ever.

We welcome everyone to the rink this weekend and for the rest of the skating season.  There may even be a few treats at the rink this weekend.  As always we will be holding our annual winter carnival later in February and planning for it will be beginning shortly.  If you are interested in volunteering for the carnival or adding your name to the list of rink volunteers, please send us your name.

Happy Skating and thanks to everyone for continuing to support our neighbourhood rink,


Lorne Cutler

President and Rink Manager, Hampton Iona Community Group


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