Skaters and hockey players like these Langley Girls Ice Hockey Association players might return to Langley Township arenas this year, but it won’t be like pre-COVID. (Langley Advance Times files)

Skating, swimming return to Langley Township rec centres

Reduced capacities and shorter times are expected under a phased reopening

Langley Township will re-open its ice rinks and pools, but things won’t be back to normal as far as recreation this summer and fall.

Township council unanimously voted in favour of a plan to re-start some rec operations at Monday’s council meeting.

“It’s not a full re-opening of rec centres,” Mayor Jack Froese told the Langley Advance Times in the wake of the vote.

The Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre will see a partial opening of its outdoor pool facilities as soon as is practical, likely about two weeks from now, meaning mid-August, said Froese.

The centre’s Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience – the pools but not the waterslides – won’t have nearly the number of users they did before the coronavirus pandemic struck, however.

Froese said plans are not final yet, but the current proposal calls for about 40 people at a time in the pools, with perhaps four swim sessions a day, of one and a half hours maximum per session.

That’s to keep numbers low to allow distance between swimmers.

“I just have a feeling it’s not going to be enough,” Froese said. He expects demand to be much higher for swimming.

But the primary concern is safety of staff and residents, the mayor said.

“We don’t want to have to open and then close again,” he said.

Similar plans are in store for the ice rinks in Aldergrove and Brookswood, which are expected to re-start in September.

“Ice will go in for September for rental,” said Froese.

That means teams such as figure skating groups, minor hockey teams, and adult rec league teams will be able to take to the ice.

Representatives of local minor hockey groups spoke at Monday’s council meeting, conducted via Zoom, to plead for some ice time for teams this fall.

“We need our local arena to install the ice and open, judiciously, for September,” said Teresa O’Callaghan, secretary for the executive of Aldergrove Minor Hockey.

“What we do has never been more important,” she said, saying the stress social isolation has imposed on local youth has had a real mental health impact.

“We do appreciate that indoor space does bring different concerns than an outdoor space maybe would,” said Carly Leakey, president of Langley Girls Hockey.

But she said her organization can have more control over spectators and participants, including mandating masks and the number of people involved.

“We are willing to work with anything the Township puts in place for safety protocols,” she said.

One of the issues girls hockey faces is player retention, she said. While losing a season of boys hockey would be bad, Leakey noted that the players would return the following year. A long hiatus for girls hockey might mean many players drift away and never return.

The Township report on re-opening suggested rinks will open with 14 skaters maximum on the ice, which would include coaches.

The curling rinks at the George Preston Recreation Centre in Brookswood could open to about 60 per cent of last year’s capacity, according to the report.

A full re-opening of rec facilities isn’t expected until after the pandemic ends, likely when a vaccine is available, which is not anticipated before the very end of 2020 or sometime in 2021.

BC Minor HockeyLangleyLangley TownshipOutdoors and RecreationSportsSwimming

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Village, a secure dementia facility, opened in Brookswood a few years back. It was the subject of a recent COVID outbreak, which was declared over on Oct. 30, 2020. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
COVID outbreaks declared over in Langley care homes

Brookswood and Fort Langley seniors facilities given all clear by B.C.’s top doctor

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
Police took one person into custody on Friday afternoon after a report of an assault. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley RCMP converge to take one into custody over assault report

Police apprehension was near 203rd Street between Fraser Highway and 56th Street after brief chase

Aldergrove Kodiaks open the 2020-2021 season with a four game winning streak. (Aldergrove Star files)
Aldergrove Kodiaks start COVID restricted season with a roar

Playing in cohorts, the junior hockey team’s first game against Surrey Knights resulted in 7-0 win

Award-winning journalist receives award from her alma mater

Andrea Woo receives distinguished alumni award from KPU

Under special lights, youngsters such as Lucas, bowled pumpkins to knock over glow in the dark bowling pins at the South Ridge Church Pumpkin Fest. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Langley church offers families socially distanced drive through autumn fair

Lots of kids dressed in costume for the South Ridge Church Pumpkin Patch Friday evening

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read