Starting them young

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‘He’s been on the ice since he was about 20 months old’

TRURO – Stacey Messervey kept her camera at the ready while keeping an eye on her two-year-old son, Kohen.

Two-year-old Kohen Messervey spent some time on the ice at the Colchester Legion Stadium yesterday with his mother, Stacey, and father, Kenny (not pictured). The Truro parents hope skating will catch on with their son and he will play hockey, much like his father did when he was younger.

Kohen, however, thought it was naptime on the ice at the Colchester Legion Stadium during the pre-school skate yesterday. His mother couldn’t help but laugh.

“Oh, hockey is why we’re here,” the Truro mother said, while watching her husband, Kenny, get Kohen to his feet and start skating with an early skater learning aid. “His father was a hockey player and so his father wants him to be too. He’s been on the ice since he was about 20 months old.”

Messervey said skating, like anything, is a learning process and it’s always good to get started while young.

“It’s important for teaching them anything as often as you can at such a young age. I’m 30 and I don’t know how to skate. I think it gets harder as we get older, for teaching someone anything. Plus, it’s good to be out and active.”

Kenny brings Kohen to the free skate every Monday afternoon to get him used to the idea of being on ice.

“We want to keep him active and this is great exercise in the wintertime,” Kenny said. “It’s great how he’s coming along. This is our fifth time out and he’s skating pretty much on his own now.”

Being on the ice also gives parents a chance to bond with their children, as was the case with Linda Swart, her daughter Maryke and Maryke’s son, Brody Antle.

“You have to get your kids involved in sport,” said Swart, while watching Maryke skate while holding up her two-and-a-half-year-old son.

“Maryke is a flight attendant and is home this week, so it gives them a chance to spend quality time together. The ice is here and it’s available, so it’s perfect.”

A number of skating sessions are held at various arenas throughout Colchester County during the winter for parents and children right up to those of senior age.

And if skating inside isn’t what you’re looking for, there are six different outdoor rinks in the area where one can find their edge.

One of two in Truro was recently re-located from Victoria Park to under the canopy at the Farmer’s Market on the corners of Prince and Young streets.

“It’s a better location, has a roof overhead and protection, somewhat, from the elements,” said Larry Anthony, maintenance foreman with the Truro Parks, Recreation and Culture department, about the move.

While skating inside the arenas is available whenever ice time permits, it’s another story when it comes to the outdoor rinks – it’s all weather-related.

“When the weather is cooperative, we can flood at least once a day, sometimes we flood twice,” said Anthony.

The weather also dictates when users can enjoy the outdoor rinks.

“They’re both lit enough so they can be used at night,” Anthony said about the two sites in Truro. “Most mornings when we go to flood, we see marks on the ice from people being there the night before.”


Skate Times:

-      Colchester Legion Stadium: adults ($3) – Tuesdays, 10-11:30 a.m., Fridays, 1:15-2:40 p.m.; seniors (55+, free) – Mondays, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Thursdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m.; pre-school with adult (free) – Mondays, 1:15-2:15 p.m., Thursdays, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; family ($2.50/person, $6/family) – Sundays, 1-2:30 p.m. (call the stadium as it isn’t every Sunday)

-      Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex: moms and tots – Monday to Friday, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.; adult – Thursdays, 10 a.m.; family – Friday nights

-      Deuville’s Rink: public skate – Fridays, 8:15-9:15 p.m.

-      North Shore Recreation Centre ($3/person, $7/family): adults – Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; parents and tots – Saturday, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.; public – Sundays, 4-5:30 p.m.; students – Fridays, 2:30-4 p.m.

-      West Colchester United Arena: pre-school with adult (free) – Tuesdays, 10-11:30 a.m.; public ($2/person, $5/family) – Fridays, 3-4:45 p.m.; family ($3/person, $7/family) – Sundays, 1-2:45 p.m.


Outdoor rinks across the county:

-      Five Islands – across from the fire department on Highway 2; for the schedule, search ‘Five Islands Rink’ on Facebook

-      Truro – two – one at Victoria Square (Commercial Street), one under the canopy at the Farmer’s Market (corner of Prince and Young)

-      Bible Hill – two – Paul ‘Pony’ Clark Memorial at Bible Hill Central Elementary School on Pictou Road, and one on Meadowland Avenue

-      Stewiacke – at Dennis Park (no pucks or sticks between 6 and 7 p.m. daily)

Organizations: Recreation and Culture department, North Shore Recreation Centre

Geographic location: Truro, Colchester Legion Stadium, Colchester County Victoria Park Pictou Road Meadowland Avenue Dennis Park

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