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Working day schedule leaves skating rinks empty

The Wally Dever Arena during the adult recreational skate. [1]

The Wally Dever Arena during the adult recreational skate. Photo by Jordan Merkley.

By Jordan Merkley [2]

BELLEVILLE – Skating and shinny are popular winter activities, but is Belleville’s skating schedule practical for its residents?

Belleville has its public skates scheduled at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre  [3]during evenings and weekends this month. These are times that anyone and everyone is welcome to come out and skate and it can be fairly crowded, so there are adult recreational skates [4] at different times.

“Adult skates are held for both adults and seniors to enjoy skating times without children and youth on the ice (which can sometimes be intimidating),” said Tanya Grierson, recreation program supervisor for the City of Belleville

However,every adult skate in the month of January takes place Monday through Thursday, between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., right in the middle of the work day. This is the same with the adult shinny.

There are currently no times available for either of these activities during evenings or weekends, making it difficult for many adults to use the time.

“Unfortunately we are not able to book adult skates or shinny on evening or weekends. Our regular ice users have these times booked,” said Grierson. She said this is also the case for the upcoming months.

There are no other facilities in the City of Belleville that offer adult skating or shinny

“We have four ice surfaces and they are all fully booked during prime time hours,” Grierson said.

The City of Belleville also has only one outdoor rink, which doesn’t even have hockey nets.