Auburn Bay family builds a winter ice oasis in backyard

Rob Churcher had a four-year-old who was a hockey mad Flames fan, who joined the Jr. Flames, only to have the whole thing get shut down after three practices due to COVID-19, so Churcher came up with a solution.

He had the rink come to his Jr. Flame.

That’s because Churcher, who relocated along with his two children and wife from Fort McMurray to Calgary this year, built a bit of an ice oasis in the backyard of his Auburn Bay home for the family to enjoy a daily skate upon.

“Wondering if you’re doing a story on how people are adapting to COVID?” he wrote, in an email to CTV News. “We live in Auburn Bay and several people have built backyard rinks, ponds have been turned into rinks and we have built a pretty amazing winter oasis in our backyard, too!”

We’ll say.

At the end of a difficult year for the entire planet, hat’s off to the Churchers and everyone else who took the lemonades that life sometimes serve and turned them into a gorgeous sheet of ice that a four year old can propel themselves across like some mini-Iginla in the making.

Churcher rink

“We wanted to have something that was safe, that our family could enjoy over the winter,” Churcher said.

“Our whole family uses it daily- both kids love hockey and it’s been a huge outlet for them to burn off energy and exercise/ play while staying safe and maintaining the covid restrictions.  I’m working from home so it’s been a big outlet for myself to learn how to make the rink, maintain it and use it.”

Happy New Year, and here’s hoping 2021 brings with it a little puck luck for the whole planet.

Churcher rink


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