So you want to skate. You want to learn to skate?
Here is your chance. The Maples/Elwick Community Centre at Mapleglen Drive and Maberley
Road is the neighbourhood hub for free recreational skating at its new, big outdoor rink.
The Maples/Elwick rink is the only skating venue in the middle of a sea of houses in the area.
This small community centre is the remnant of the original Maples Community Centre that was flourishing here fifty years ago. Then, in the 1970s, the Maples suburb had a huge expansion, spreading west. To accommodate the subdivision, the new Maples Community Centre, complete with indoor hockey arena — was built on Adsum Drive, a half-kilometre away.
The original centre at 30 Maberley Rd. remained under the management of the new Maples Community Centre’s board of volunteers.
In 2008, cricket volunteers were encouraged to develop a cricket pitch at the old Maples/Elwick site. The successful completion of the popular cricket pitch with field improvements, was a great reason that the district city councillor and MLA awarded additional funds to build the new skating rink, a large outdoor basketball court and landscaping upgrades.
"I am very proud of the Maples volunteers. We have transformed the Elwick site into a busy, vibrant recreation centre for the neighbourhood," said Adam Tocci, president of the Maples CC.
Now the No. 1 winter attraction at the Maples/Elwick centre is the skating rink.
This free, recreational skating venue is open seven days week, with the lights on until 8 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays; from 4 to 6 p.m. there are supervised skating and learn-to-skate programs.
The lessons are free. In addition, supervisor Amanda Lennon, has a room full of skates, helmets and other equipment for anyone who may not have skating gear. Free snacks and hot chocolate are offered during the Monday and Thursday sessions.
Elwick Community School is located next door to the skating rink. The school is a valuable partner and supporter of the skating program.
"It’s great to see that so many kids and adults coming out and enjoying the outdoors. Some of the first-time skaters have never seen a pair of skates before they immigrated to Canada," Lennon said.
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The Seven Oaks Education Foundation presents its annual Spud, Steak, Chicken Dinner and 7 Oaks Got Talent Concert on Friday, Feb. 8 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Canad Inns Garden City. Tickets are $20, all Donna Herold at (204) 586-8061.
Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.