Making the most of the rec centre rink ice

Eased restrictions mean more events to enjoy at the Shamrock Centre


The rink ice is still beautiful, and now gliding patrons can enjoy increased skating events following eased pandemic restrictions.

“We still have our arena ice, and we are keeping it in until March 31,” said Wendy Giesbrecht, facility manager at the Shamrock Centre. “And there have already been ice bookings. Now that we have opened up, we can hold two groups of 10 people at one time on the ice. But the two groups can’t interact on the ice. Before March 5 we were quite restricted.”

Giesbrecht said that a whole list of sporting activities is ready to roll on the arena ice, including public skating, individual play, group and individual instruction, and team practises.

“But there are no sticks and pucks, no games, and not tournaments,” she added.

And to celebrate this week’s St. Patrick’s Day, the Shamrock ice will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 20, for a free skate for everyone, said Giesbrecht. 

“The maximum number on the ice will be 20 people at one time,” she said. “We will have more information to share about the St. Pat’s Skate next week.

In addition, the Shamrock Centre’s weight room is also open for business, and fitness classes are on the near horizon.

“The weight room opened recently, and we can have 25 per cent capacity,” said Giesbrecht. “We are limited to seven people in the weight room at one time. And we can have four people in the change rooms. That’s 50 per cent capacity. Right now we are up and planning our fitness classes, for early April.”

Summer day camps for the kids are also on Giesbrecht’s list of future fun events for the younger set.

“We are planning for summer day camps in July, and hopefully this year will be better than last year, and there will be more kids, and we will be allowed to have some field trips,” she said.

SUCCESSFUL SPRING SESSION – Coach Amy Jackson from Minto (right) leads some junior girls in skating drills on Thursday in the Shamrock Centre’s Paterson Arena. The “Mini Spring Session” for junior girls wraps up today at the Shamrock, and by all accounts it was a success. The two-week session included off ice training at the Celtic Training Centre, and plenty of time on the ice as well. Senior skaters have also been taking advantage of the arena’s healthy ice, along with four-on-four hockey on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. And there’s also a free St. Patrick’s skate this Saturday at the Shamrock Centre.


HAPPY TO BE BACK ON ICE – From left: Claire Archambault, Anna Archambault, coach Alissa Dyck from Clearwater, Logan Guenther, Teagan Guenther, Monique Quirante, and Violet Sawatsky were all happy to be back on the arena ice at the Shamrock Centre this week. “A couple of us parents refused to give up on getting our kids back on the ice, so we started to plan a spring session,” said April Archambault. The ‘Mini Spring Session’ will have seven ice sessions and three off ice sessions over a period of two weeks. “There are seven junior girls registered and it’s been great to see them on the ice again,” she said, adding that it’s been a positive spin to the end of a frustrating skating season. There has also been ice time organized for senior skaters, as well as some scheduled four-on-four hockey.

OFF-ICE TRAINING – Killarney’s Celtic Training Center is providing off-ice training for the young skaters. From left: Monique Quirante, Logan Guenther, Violet Sawatsky, Anna and Claire Archambault, and Teagan Guenther.