Why is it called an ice rink and could outdoor skating become extinct?

Rink, is a Scottish word meaning ‘course’, it was used as the name of a place where curling was played. Early in its history, ice hockey was played mostly on rinks constructed for curling. The name was retained after hockey-specific facilities were built.

Variations of both curling and hockey had been played for many generations prior to the naming of the playing area, but the origins of the modern, indoor ice rink can be traced back to Montreal, where the first organized indoor game was played at the Victoria Skating Rink in 1875.

Outdoor Skating

It’s becoming a luxury to experience skating outdoors on a natural frozen rink in the wintertime. As of Feb 23, 2020 the Rideau Canal closed.  It was open for only 31 days from Jan. 18thto Feb. 23rd. More than 381,000 visitors enjoyed the canal in 2020. In a statement, the NCC says “the unusually warm weather earlier this week resulted in a significant degradation of the ice. With a major snowfall in the forecast, followed by higher temperatures, our mighty maintenance team can no longer ensure safe ice conditions.”  For the first time in the 50-year history of the Rideau Canal Skateway, the full length of the Skateway didn’t open for skaters.  Is this a sign of climate change?

Heather logan, creator of The Skate Helper, enjoys one of the final days of skating on the Rideau Canal before it closed early on Feb.23, 2020. 

Global Warming

RinkWatch is a citizen science research initiative that asks people who love outdoor skating to help environmental scientists monitor winter weather conditions and study the long-term impacts of climate change. Launched by researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University in January 2013, participants from across North America have submitted information about skating conditions on more than 1,400 outdoor rinks and ponds. In addition to contributing valuable data to environmental science, RinkWatch has become anonline community for people who love making backyard and community rinks.

Global warming is part of our life and major weather events are becoming a regular news item. Many people in the world will never experience outdoor skating on a natural rink. Skating outdoors in a natural setting is not only magical and awe-inspiring but it gives you a sense of freedom, it is also fun, and exhilarating.

The CBC has compiled an excellent list of scenic once-in-a-lifetime skating rink experiences in Canada check it out here.

 

 

 

A Sneak Peek of What’s Coming up from Skate Helper

Hi, it’s Heather from Skate Helper. Want a sneak peek of what’s coming up? I recently went to Chicago to see the Chicago Blackhawks First Stride Program in action and shoot a video….which is coming soon.

First Class Organization

I was so impressed with the Chicago Blackhawks – they truly are an iconic, first-class organization. From the modern design and cleanliness of the Fifth – Third Arena, the innovative and community driven First Stride Program, to the experienced, professional, forward thinking Blackhawks representatives – all I can say is my visit to the Fifth-Third Arena was simply amazing.

The First Stride Program

The First Stride program has been using the Skate Helper as a tool since the arena opened in 2017. Every day, sixty grade 4 and 5 students take part in the program.
First Stride is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The students arrive on school buses and are treated like VIP’s as soon as they walk in. The locker room is set up with each of their names, they get a t-shirt, gloves and skates all laid out in the cubby ready to go.
After the 40 minute skating session the kids head upstairs to the classroom to do a STEM education program ( Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The morning I was there the kids were building robots. It was so cool.
Very proud that the Skate Helper is a big part of the First Stride Program. Click here to check it out.

Tour of Fifth- Third Arena and my trip to Chicago….coming soon.

 

Folsom, CA skating rink using Skate Helper Skating Aids

Learn how to generate revenue with the Skate Helper

As the 2017/2018 skating season is coming to a close we wanted to reach out to all of our customers to thank you for another successful year. We were busy at Motion Sports as we redesigned the skate aid and renamed it the Skate Helper. We launched a new website and had two molds designed. Along with doubling our production capacity adults can now use two skate helpers as they will lock into place when stacked.

We had many customers use the Skate Helper as a revenue stream. By putting a sticker/logo on the recessed panel on the front many rinks rented the Skate Helper out.

Folsom Rink in California put a “RENT ME” sign on the front of every skate helper. This seasonal rink operates from November to the end of January. During this time, they rented out over 1000 Skate Helpers at the price of $10 per maximum 90 minute session. Folsom Rink takes skating to another level by using lights and music to create a full experience – it’s much more than just skating at a rink it’s a destination for the area. As owner Brian Jackson said, “we sold out of the skate helpers during many sessions. The staff loves them and so do our customers.”

In November, a customer in Washington State emailed me to say,
“They arrived and we put them out for rent at $5/per this weekend.  We rented 46 over
the weekend for $230 in revenue… not a bad start!”

The Skate Helpers are used all over North America. From the Chicago Blackhawks ordering them for their new community arena to the New England Patriots using them at their outdoor seasonal rink. Over 300 arenas are using the Skate Helper. The university of Notre Dame has them and a small community rink in Moses Lake, WA has them. These rinks were able to enhance their customer’s experience by introducing the Skate Helper to their facility.

Arenas around the world are using the Skate Helper. From cities like Vancouver and Toronto, to faraway places like Alaska, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Dubai and London England. Without a doubt the Skate Helper is a game changer in terms of elevating the skating experience for families with kids who don’t know how to skate. We would love to see pictures of the Skate Helpers in action at your arena and add them to our website. Please send them to me at [email protected]

We have doubled our production capacity and are ready to work with you in 2018.

Sincerely,

Heather Logan
Owner/Founder Motion Sports and Safety Products Inc

Dec 10, 2017 is Canada National Skating Day

National Skating Day is December 10, 2017 throughout Canada

Canadians are invited to lace up their skates and take to The Hill this December to celebrate National Skating Day.

The government said Thursday it will build a family skating rink on Parliament Hill as the country closes out its 2017 150th birthday celebration.

The rink will be open for skating from Dec. 7 until Dec. 31 and will culminate with a New Year’s Eve celebration on Parliament Hill.

The Dec. 7 opening also coincides with the Christmas lights illumination which will feature musical performances and fireworks. In addition, Sunday, Dec. 10 will be celebrated as National Skating Day with the Hill rink as the focus of events to take place in 200 communities across Canada.

The Parliamentary rink announcement comes after the government nixed the hopes of the NHL and the Ottawa Senators to stage an outdoor game on Parliament Hill to celebrate the NHL’s 100th anniversary this year. That game, between the Senators and the Montreal Canadiens, will instead be played outdoors at Lansdowne Park on Dec. 16.

Chicago Blackhawks MB Ice Arena

Blackhawks giving back to community with new practice facility

Motion Sports and Safety Products is honored that the Chicago Blackhawks have decided to use the Skate Helper Skate Aid in their new community ice arena. The Chicago Blackhawks announced that the team’s new, privately funded, $65 million facility will be known as the MB Ice Arena – Chicago Blackhawks Community Rink. In addition to serving as the practice home for the Blackhawks and visiting National Hockey League teams, approximately 94 percent of the facility’s use will be for the community, youth and adult hockey leagues.

“For the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, there is an unconditional commitment to give back to the community,” Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said. “If we were going to build a rink for the team, why not build two and include the community. The Wirtz family and the Chicago Blackhawks organization are proud of what this facility will mean to Chicago’s youth, and we are honored to have our longstanding partner, MB Financial Bank, join us as the first of what we anticipate will be many other Chicago businesses to participate in this exciting endeavor and support the outstanding programs at this new facility.”

The new arena, set to open in late November, will house two regulation sized NHL rinks and will feature 22 team and public locker rooms, medical and rehab facilities, a public fitness training center and a media center. The facility’s amenities include a restaurant and coffee shop, a rooftop deck and additional space for public functions. The building also includes several classrooms that will host programs for Chicago Public School students on the importance of health, wellness, nutrition, physical fitness and STEM education.

 Motion Sports and Safety Products is honored that the Chicago Blackhawks have decided to use the Skate Helper Skate Aid in their new community ice arena. The Chicago Blackhawks announced that the team’s new, privately funded, $65 million facility will be known as the MB Ice Arena – Chicago Blackhawks Community Rink. In addition to serving as the practice home for the Blackhawks and visiting National Hockey League teams, approximately 94 percent of the facility’s use will be for the community, youth and adult hockey leagues.

“For the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, there is an unconditional commitment to give back to the community,” Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said. “If we were going to build a rink for the team, why not build two and include the community. The Wirtz family and the Chicago Blackhawks organization are proud of what this facility will mean to Chicago’s youth, and we are honored to have our longstanding partner, MB Financial Bank, join us as the first of what we anticipate will be many other Chicago businesses to participate in this exciting endeavor and support the outstanding programs at this new facility.”

Public skate at Chicago Blackhawks Community Rink with Skate Helper skating aid

Public skate at Chicago Blackhawks Community Rink

The new arena, set to open in late November, will house two regulation sized NHL rinks and will feature 22 team and public locker rooms, medical and rehab facilities, a public fitness training center and a media center. The facility’s amenities include a restaurant and coffee shop, a rooftop deck and additional space for public functions. The building also includes several classrooms that will host programs for Chicago Public School students on the importance of health, wellness, nutrition, physical fitness and STEM education.

“There are countless ways in which our vision and values are aligned, including the need to build strong and vibrant communities where we live and work,” said Mitch Feiger, CEO and President of MB Financial, Inc. “The Blackhawks commitment to going beyond just serving as a practice rink to become a multi-service facility for Chicago’s youth, was the biggest draw for our involvement. We are incredibly proud to partner with the Blackhawks on this gift to the City of Chicago.”

The state-of-the-art MB Ice Arena will also serve as a hub for youth hockey development programs, recreational leagues and high school teams. The Chicago Mission AAA Hockey Club, a local elite youth hockey program, will call the USA Hockey-sanctioned facility its home, as will the Chicago Jets, Chicago Stallions, St. Ignatius College Prep and the Little Blackhawks Learn to Play program, an initiative from the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association.

For more information about the new facility, please visit http://www.mbicearena.com.