Shinny games are popular, but there’s also a smaller rink for the young learners.
Photos: Jennifer Shaw
By Dudleigh Coyle
Glebe Memorial is one of more than 240 rinks that comprise the City of Ottawa’s Outdoor Rink Program. We had a slow start this year, but Mother Nature eventually cooperated and we were up and running on January 18. I guess we are going to have to get used to different types of winters and just be ready with hoses and shovels.
As always, our rink at the end of Glendale Avenue is being well used. The ice is available for everyone at any time. You are welcome to change into your skates using our rink-side tables and benches. The warming shack is open when the supervisors are on duty weekdays from 4 to 9:30 p.m. and weekends from 1 to 5 p.m.
Community volunteers have kept Glebe Memorial going for well over 40 years. Currently we have 20 adult volunteers who work evenings and seven paid teenage supervisors who work after school and on weekend shifts. I reckon that during the past 40-odd years there have been over 90 parent volunteers – some, like me, are grandparents now. We may not be as quick on shovelling duty but our experience with flooding is second to none. Over the years, some 110 students have had the best winter job ever: getting paid to supervise and play endless hours of shinny. At Glebe Memorial everybody is welcome, and everybody skates – that’s actually our number one rule. So, if you bring a youngster who is learning to skate, you can expect the big kids to show them to the smaller rink surface or include them in the shinny game.
We’re proud of our boardless rink that allows little ones to skate across the surface and over the snowbanks to play for a while or plop down for a quick break. Pucks find their way into the snow in the park and emerge in the spring, sometimes as many as 60, kind of like Easter eggs that have been expertly hidden.
We’re now on Instagram: follow glendalerink.
Special note for parents in the north end of the Glebe: we’d love to include you in our volunteer supervising group known fondly as the Glebe Rink Rats. The job is not onerous. Adult volunteer supervisors do one shift a month from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Be in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org). and I will explain. Kids love having their parents on the team.
Dudleigh Coyle has volunteered as the Chief Rink Rat at Glebe Memorial for almost 40 years.