Fans of the free Sled Shed are likely to enjoy the latest announcement coming from the Weyburn Oilwomen Association. They've recently proposed a similar initiative that will offer free skates and helmets for patrons to borrow at the Tom Zandee Sports Arena. The plan is to eventually bring that equipment to the Credit Union Spark Centre for visitors of the Outdoor Skating Rink to utilize, but that will have to wait for a colder Winter as the Outdoor Rink is unfortunately closed for this season.
"We're really excited about this because not everyone has skates or helmets, and we want to be able to provide that experience to everyone," said Abby Kradovill, a Board Member for the Weyburn Oilwomen Association. "We're trying to remove some of those financial barriers that might prevent people from enjoying winter activities, but it's also going to be great for people who are just visiting Weyburn as well!"
Funding from the South East District of Sport, Culture and Recreation as well as Sask Lotteries were received by the Oilwomen for this project, allowing them to purchase 20 sets of skates and helmets to get started. Kradovill did say that there are plans to purchase more equipment in the future, but also mentioned that they're open to equipment donations as well.
"We're going to work on filling out the stock of skates that people can borrow, so we may be putting out a call for gently used skates to offer a wider variety of sizes. Right now we're looking at the logistics of how we're going to store them and how that will look in the facilities, so we're hoping to have them available in the rink soon," said Kradovill.
Both children and adult sizes will be available to borrow without any fees or cost to the users. The first unveiling was originally hoped to be on February 2nd, but has been held off due to the uncertain fate of the Outdoor Rink. Now that the Outdoor Rink is officially closed for the remainder of the season, the Oilwomen are planning to first offer their skates and helmets to those taking part in the Family Day festivities that have been organized by the City.
"I think we'll have them at the Sports Arena for that day, as well as some hot chocolate for anyone coming out to skate and take part in Family Day," Kradovill confirmed.