Winter can’t get here soon enough for the people of Flying Dust First Nation.

According to Jon Mirasty, recreation director at FDFN, the new outdoor ice rink currently under construction adjacent to Kopahawakenum School should be completed “before the snow flies” if everything goes according to schedule.

“This is a project that’s been in the works for more than a year now, but which had to be put on hold for a while mainly because of COVID-19,” Mirasty explained.

The facility will include a full regulation NHL size ice surface (85 feet by 200 feet), while outdoor lights are already in place. Other amenities associated with the project will include a skate shack, heated dressing room area, as well as a storage area for a Zamboni.

“A lot of money has gone into this initiative, and with the nicer weather, much of the work was able to get done,” Mirasty continued. “There are some really good guys out there working as we speak, and, once completed, this will be a great facility not only for members of our community, but also those from Meadow Lake who want to come out and go skating.”

Mirasty went on to say the new facility will also prove to be a tremendous asset for young hockey players.

“I grew skating on an outdoor rink, and it really helped provide me with a lot of free ice time to further develop my skills as a hockey player,” he noted. “Meadow Lake Minor Hockey teams could benefit from this considering how local ice times are often full. It also gives kids something to do so they can better occupy their time and stay out of trouble – this is going to be a great addition to our community.”

Mirasty also reiterated the effort that has gone into the project to ensure it is as state-of-the-art as possible.

“This isn’t your typical backyard rink with some boards around it,” he added. “A lot is being put into this to make sure it’s top rated, not only in terms of skating or hockey in the wintertime, but year round. I’m picturing tennis, basketball or possibly even roller hockey during the summer. We’re very fortunate to have this opportunity.”

by Phil Ambroziak

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