Activities aplenty at Stride Place
Local youth testing out the new mini stick facility located in the upper level of Stride Place's Portage Mutual Arena. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
What began as a social media hypothetical quickly materialized into something tangible thanks to efforts from the Portage la Prairie Lions Club, Portage Minor Hockey Association and Portage Regional Recreation Authority.
The finishing touches are being put on a mini stick rink in the upper level of Portage Mutual Arena with plans of adding a shooting gallery behind the sheet of ice`s east goal as concerns were being raised over spectator safety and building damage caused by errant sticks, pucks and balls.
“(When) their brothers and sisters are out on the rink they can play, that’s what it’s there for,” says Portage Lions Club director Justyn McCabe, as youth have already began testing out the new hockey space. “We haven’t said don’t use it yet, but we’re not quite done (the work).”
PRRA designated the necessary space for the operation, PMHA fronted much of the cost while local Lions have been busy over the last few weeks performing the necessary labour to complete the job – one that has required an estimated 50-60 man hours with work still remaining.
McCabe and his fellow Lions still need to install Plexiglass and boards around the mini stick rink where future sponsorship signage will be affixed. Following completion of the upper level, work will then commence on the shooting gallery facility. An endeavour expected to be complete and ready for use prior to Christmas.
“If you don`t have time to maybe go for a skate at lunch hour but you've got a few minutes or you don`t have a good shot but you`re a heck of a skater, that's what it's there for,” McCabe adds.
The Lions Club is currently working on sponsorship packages that will feature signage on both the mini stick rink and shooting gallery boards, much like signage found on traditional sized boards. For sponsor information or to become a member, contact the Lions at 204-692-2582.