The blow back from losing our rink is now becoming very apparent, skate clubs are shutting down, skaters can only roll outside in weather depending conditions, or scramble to find a place to skate that isn't a rubber floor or a tiny box. Places that have suitable floors are booked up with no chance of getting in, and some places like empty Sears stores are way too out of reach financially.
Honestly, it's a big huge void in Calgary.
Since the closure, however, there have been several groups holding events to keep skating at the forefront of the minds of our precious and talented skaters. These are the people on the front line, the die-hard skaters that never miss a session, the regulars that have been skating for decades. These are the ones who push the sport forward, for they show the newcomers just how amazing the sport is and with it, the wonderful friendships and networking that goes along with it. If we lose these people's passion and determination to skate, we will slowly lose the sport for good in Calgary.
There are many of us who refuse to let that happen!!!
Skating year round in a city like Calgary is impossible due to the long and cold winters. A permanent rink is imperative for clubs like The Calgary Artistic Roller Sports Club, who rely heavily on the painted loops and circles in the middle. Without proper training they will never again have a chance to send a Canadian team to Nationals.
The Calgary Roller In-line Skating Club is another that is suffering with nowhere to practice. Being reduced to no venues forces them to only be able to skate outside during the warm months and it is simply not enough training. We will eventually see our speedskaters disappear.
We would like to raise a million dollars to put towards a brand new skate venue in Calgary, one exclusive to rollerskaters and in-line skaters, complete with an indoor skatepark. An indoor permanent venue like the Compound is greatly needed in Calgary. What people don't realize is that an indoor skatepark for just roller and in-line skating would be a huge business opportunity! It would be busy all year round because skaters wouldn't have to deal with SNOW, bikes, skateboards and scooters and could learn in safer conditions. It would employ teachers, coaches, and any business connected to it would thrive, as people need skates, equipment, lessons, etc.
A million dollars is a surely a small portion of what is really needed to make this happen but we know that once the ball starts rolling (no pun intended), many people will join in on the cause which we hope will make the City of Calgary listen to our pleas, and hopefully consider matching our fund.
It's going to take time and hard work but if we all stick together and hold non-profit events that donate the money into this fund, and we do this as much as we can, it could potentially grow quickly and a rink might not be as far off as it feels to those that are really missing their home rink.
It's time to ask yourselves, how bad do you want a permanent rink?
- Janet Wagner
- Janet Wagner
- RARE Oilfield Corp.
- Don McGeachy
- Angela Scrivens
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