When Michael Baker moved to Riverbend a couple years ago with his wife, their four children and two (sometimes three) foster children, he knew he’d found a hidden gem. He especially loves that the community is right on the Fish Creek Park pathway system and is filled with so many great playgrounds.
“You can see the buzz, there’s so many families now,” he said. “I love how the path and the parks connect everything.”
It was the community connection that spurred Michael’s desire to help make the ice skating rink more of a hub for Riverbend.
When Michael approached the RCA to see about the rink, he found out it was run by only a couple of volunteers. He knew it wasn’t sustainable for such a small number of people, so Michael became a cheerleader of sorts to help round up volunteers.
“I wanted to make a great place for our kids in the winter,” he said.
Micheal spread the word to neighbours and area schools to recruit more rink volunteers. Last winter the rink had its best season yet. It is also thanks to Michael, who owns a snow removal company, that last year was so successful. He volunteered his staff's time to help clear the rink of snow.
Michael is super pumped for the coming rink season that will feature many of the events of 2019: hockey shinny nights, a “crashed ice” obstacle course, and skate nights. He is also planning to have coaches and young college hockey players come out to put on a free skate shop to offer basic training for kids. He noted that the Riverbend Grassroots hockey may also have events happening.
Michael is especially looking forward to the year ahead as he broke his ankle playing hockey last year and wasn’t able to participate. He did his best hobbling around while trying to organize from the sidelines, but he’s eager to get on the ice.
Michael wanted to thank everyone who helped out last year and hopes the coming year will be just as memorable..
“Getting layers of water on the rink is not that fun of a job, it’s cold and you’re wet, but the volunteers were great to keep it going for the kids.”
There is still a big need for rink volunteers this year. From snow removal to scheduling and coaching there are many opportunities to help out.
If you are interested in helping out with the rink in 2019-20 season, please let us know via our volunteer application form!