NDG has a new place to lace up skates thanks to Montreal Canadiens
Published Tuesday, February 5, 2013 8:37PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:22PM EST
There's a new place to lace up your skates in Notre Dame de Grace – and it’s all courtesy of the Montreal Canadiens.
The Habs inaugurated their fifth '’Bleu, blanc, bouge' rink Tuesday afternoon, funded by the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation and the borough of Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace, to provide a place for less fortunate children to play.
The new outdoor ice surface in Confederation Park, next to the existing Doug Harvey Arena and Confederation Pool, is as large as the Bell Centre’s, and it’s refrigerated, so children can skate on it from November to March.
“This is what we need to keep families in Montreal, it’s first-class facilities,” said Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum, on hand for the event.
Habs players past and present were on hand to inaugurate the rink, including Sergio Momesso, who grew up playing on the rinks of NDG.
“With all the computers, we’ve got to get the kids outside,” he said. “That was the best thing in my life, to play outside.”
Since 2008, the Canadiens' Children Foundation has built five rinks in Montreal, which have so far been used by more than 100,000 people.
Each location has been carefully selected to benefit underpriviledged kids, explained Eric Myles, executive director of Quebec en Forme.
“For example, the schools will be using it day after day, so it's not just at night, its seven days a week,” he said.
The rink will be open seven days a week, from 9am to 10pm.
In the summer, the space will be used for basketball and other sports.
For now, the foundation has no plans to build more rinks like these in Montreal, but it wants to look at possibilities off-island to get more kids off the couch and on the ice.