Out of the cold—indoor digs welcomed

By Geoff Lee

September 6, 2016 9:33 AM

CHARMAINE STEPHENS, president of the Border Blades peedskating Club and Alison Fulkerth, chair of KidSport will share space in this new heated utility building next to the site of the Husky Energy speedskating oval. The Border Blades have funded the building and will use half of it as a changeroom while renting the other half to KidSport. Once it's done it will be turned over to the city to enable the public to use the change room for winter outdoor skating. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

The Border Blades Speed Skating Club and KidSport will both step out of the cold this winter.
The two Lloydminster organizations plan to share heated space in a new utility building under construction near the site of the Husky Energy speed skating oval next to the Servus Sports Centre.
Border Blades will occupy half of the 720 sq. ft. structure for a winter change room with KidSport using the other half as an equipment locker for sports equipment given to families in financial need.
“It’s always been a long time dream of ours,” said Charmaine Stephens, president of Border Blades.
“We’ve been fundraising for five years.”
The $60,000 structure is fully funded by KidSport and Border Blades.
KidSport will pay a rental fee as long as Border Blades has the space.
Stephens said the city knew when they built the oval that the club would eventually want something.
“The city put us in contact with KidSport because they knew they had a similar dream,” said Stephens noting the city is also a project partner.
When the building is completed it will be turned over the city to enable public usage of the change room when the oval is not booked by the Border Blades.
The city will also heat it, and operate and maintain it.
The space is great for KidSport that has been keeping their stockpile of donated equipment in an outdoor C-Can at the sports centre.
“KidSport Lloydminster has been aware for awhile that we needed to find a partnership for our equipment so we can have a place where children can try on skates where it’s warm,” said Alison Fulkerth, chair of the local charity.
The building is expected to be complete sometime this fall.
“We hope to have it up before the snow flies and have an opening ceremony and let everyone see it,”  said Stephens.
The Border Blades normally book the oval three times a week for long track practices in a short season the runs from late December to mid February weather permitting.
“It will be great to not be sitting out in minus 40 changing anymore,” said Stephens.
“Now the kids can come in where it’s warm, have a skate and when they need to, they can still have practices.”
The floor of the change room will be covered in a puck board and pine covered walls will display the club’s sponsors.
The clubhouse will also include benches and windows that overlook the oval.
When kids are out skating, parents can keep an eye on them while staying warm.
KidSport will have a separate door to its equipment locker.
The charity will donate equipment from its C-Can during the city’s annual Community Information and Registration night at the Servus Sports Centre Sept. 8 from 4 to 9 p.m.

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