StettlerLocal.com December 14, 2020 @ 9:00am
Imagine the feeling of strapping on your skates, hitting the ice, taking in the fresh air and scenery on Buffalo Lake? Thanks to a group of dedicated community volunteers in Rochon Sands, this feeling is real.
This rink offers a unique design plan for hockey and leisure skating. One of the cool features are the solar lights installed this year by two local residents and volunteers, Noel Nixon and Ron Rosin. This feature allows families to enjoy the ice at night. On top of the beautiful setting, there are family areas set up with hay bales, benches and a fire pit.
When I started helping with the rink six years ago, I got thinking that we needed something better for making ice. So, Kent McMillan, Manager, Action Plumbing donated an old tank. Noel Nixon and I picked it up, cleaned and retrofitted the tank to get it working to build the rink. We have a lot of volunteers helping, and the Summer Village of Rochon Sands allows us to use the pumps to flood the rink. This year, Noel Nixon bought a Kubota Sweeper that has a cab on it to clean the ice, and it’s awesome.” Cliff Everett, Rink Crew Volunteer
This group of volunteers spend hours designing, flooding, and with a little help from Mother Nature create great ice for the community to enjoy to its fullest. “It’s well worth it when you see the kids skating or playing hockey”, said Cliff Everett. Some of the volunteers include Martyne Nixon, Tracy Rosin, Gord Pidoborozny, Bob Hamill, Jamie Nixon, Cy Johnson and many others.
In the past, the rink has been used for community events including Boxing Day and Family Day.
Jason Olson, CAO for the Summer Village of Rochon Sands, noted that under COVID restrictions the outdoor skating rink does not have limits for participants. Guidelines are for users to allow the two-metre distancing, the same as any other contact with people outside of your household. The hay bales that are set up for families to get ready to skate are in compliance with the distancing guidelines.
Jody Craig, Reporter