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Seniors’ skating needs a boost


Seniors’ skating has started up again at Memorial Arena.

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30-10 a.m., seniors can skate for one dollar (plus GST). But the number of those taking advantage of the time has been a little low so far.

“It’s usually slow to start,” noted recreation facilities superintendent Gary Thibault. “The weather has been pretty good, with only a little rain so far.”

But as soon as it snows, he’s looking for it to pick up.

Two skaters who have been out several times so far this season are Gordon Calder and Bernard Cousineau.

“It’s a great way to burn up some calories,” Cousineau smiled.

For Calder, lapping the rink keeps him in shape but also brings back old memories.

“[Bernard’s] brother and me used to be ‘rink rats’ at the North End arena,” recalled Calder, who later played for the old Fort Frances Canadians and also was a referee for Muskie games for 33 years.

“The year we won the Allan Cup, some of us went to play for Sioux City, Iowa, and I got to play on the ‘kids’ line,” he noted, adding his hockey career even took him to Japan.

The pair also noted some of the others who used to come out for the seniors’ skating, including Mike Pearson, a former all-star centre for the Minnesota State Golden Gophers. Unfortunately, they said the number of dedicated skaters has been dwindling.

If senior skaters can’t make it Tuesday and Thursday mornings, they’re also welcome to come out for public skating each Sunday from 2:30-3:45 p.m.

Meanwhile, Thibault said there’s more than just skating at the arena. “There’s always walking. We’ve got music and you can stretch your legs.”

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