September 26, 2021
  • September 26, 2021

MRU Cougars and Rutland Park Group Team Up to Offer Free Skating Lessons

By on February 3, 2020 0

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The demand for skating lessons is increasing around Mount Royal University, but Cougar Hockey is here to help.

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Cougar Hockey and the Rutland Park Community Association have teamed up to offer free lessons to residents of the campus area.

The collaboration between Cougar Athletics and Rutland Park was initiated by Steve Dubois, general manager of the community association.

Dubois contacted Mont-Royal due to the magnitude of the requests he had regarding the delivery of skating lessons.

“I thought it would be a good idea to contact MRU and see if their hockey programs would be interested in giving skating lessons to kids and playing with them,” he said.

UMR’s director of men’s hockey operations, Nathan Higgins, was the first point of contact Dubois contacted.

“We learned that the community would really enjoy hour-long skating lessons on their rink this year and that there may be future hockey lessons possible next season,” said Higgins.

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This is the first year that Cougar Hockey has offered this kind of volunteering.

Cougar Hockey already has a warm relationship with neighboring Rutland Park.

Last fall, Cougars Men’s Hockey donated used Cougar training jerseys to the community and they were well received.

Higgins also invited the community, on behalf of Cougar Hockey, to one of the busiest home games of the season – the MRU Remembers game which is held every November in honor of the Canadian military.

About a few dozen fans from the community attended the game.

The Cougars from Mount Royal University came to offer free one-hour skating lessons in partnership with the Rutland Park Community Association.
The Cougars from Mount Royal University came to offer free one-hour skating lessons in partnership with the Rutland Park Community Association. Photo by photo provided

“From Cougar Hockey’s perspective, we want to be visible and relevant in southwest Calgary and the players are willing to volunteer their time to the community,” Higgins said. “Community members were thrilled to mingle with MRU University student-athletes and develop their hockey skills on their outdoor recreational rink.

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Fourth-year male hockey player Jamal Watson was one of a dozen athletes who took part in all three sessions of skating lessons.

“It’s special that we can connect with our neighboring community which is so close to us and help develop the Cougar Hockey brand,” he said. “Helping kids skate and seeing the joy on their faces always brings out the best in everyone and we’re happy the Rutland community loves to bring us out. “

The first of three outings was a success at Rutland Park with just over 40 people showing up to receive lessons from the male and female MRU hockey players. The last session of the season took place Monday evening.

Dubois was pleasantly surprised by the immediate feedback he received from the community.

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“We started to think that we needed more players involved,” he said. up and see examples of a girl who can skate and play hockey.

“It’s a good idea for the MRU’s sports programs to really include everyone. “

The Rutland Park Community Association is using government funding to expand its building adjacent to the rink by adding a heated changing room, concession and garage for equipment.

“The vision of the community is to involve the community with MRU and be more active. We have had so many requests for skating lessons. Having these two teams with us really helps. It went perfectly, ”Dubois said.

“We have all the help we need and the community loves it. We’ve had a ton of feedback from the online community and it shows how many kids have come here.

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