Langley Township will reopen its Aldergrove ice rink, 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 restart some rec operations at its most recent council meeting on July 27.
“It’s not a full reopening of rec centres,” Mayor Jack Froese said in the wake of the vote.
Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre (ACUCC) will see a partial opening of its outdoor pool facilities and arena “as soon as is practical,” likely about two weeks from now, meaning mid-August, Froese said.
This means teams such as figure skating groups, minor hockey teams, and adult rec league teams will be able to take to the ice in September.
“Ice will go in for September for rental,” Froese confirmed.
The mayor and the rest of council heard Teresa O’Callaghan, secretary for the executive of Aldergrove Minor Hockey, plead for a return of sport for the local club during the meeting.
“We need our local arena to install the ice and open, judiciously, for September,” said O’Callaghan.
Aldergrove Minor Hockey usually starts up its regular hockey season sometime in August.
This year, the association had to inform players that all bookings it had for the ACUCC were cancelled by the Township before and up until Aug. 31.
“What we do has never been more important,” O’Callaghan stressed to council, adding that she’s noticed the social isolation imposed on Aldergrove youth has had a real mental health impact.
Froese said, in light of re-opening, that the Township’s primary concern is safety of staff and residents.
“We don’t want to have to open and then close again,” he added.
The Township report on re-opening suggested rinks will open with 14 skaters maximum on the ice, which would include coaches and other essential volunteers.
Coun. David Davis suggested that ACUCC changing rooms be off limit to young players, and that the athletes come to the rink already suited up in skates.
“I’d rather my son play ice hockey and have to change and suit up at home, I’d much rather see that and have him out there again.”
It is likely that parents will be restricted from attending practices, Davis added.
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 end of this year or sometime in 2021.