Skating lessons continue despite suspension of recreational sports | Sports



Despite the suspension of recreational sports in Vermont, local rinks organize private lessons.

At the Nelson Withington Skating Facility, people can set aside time to skate privately with members of their own household. There are a handful of COVID restrictions, but this allows the rink to remain open, even though recreational sports in the state have been postponed until further notice.

There will also be public skating times and stick time on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

All reservations must be made 24 hours in advance to allow staff to prepare for each reservation. Participants must register in line.

The state of Vermont has also given permission to reopen Riley Rink for private lessons, determining that the rink will be able to follow state COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The rink was forced to close on Saturday after Gov. Phil Scott announced on Friday the suspension of all recreational sports programs statewide to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Riley Rink opened for the season on October 25. The rink had been closed due to the pandemic since March 15.

“We emailed the Department of Health and basically asked if the state would reconsider its orders, especially Riley Rink,” said Marek Kovac, chairman of the board of the Northshire Civic Center, which operates Riley Rink and Hunter Park. “We have several programs that we are able to follow the guidelines of the ACCD (Agency for Trade and Community Development).”

Kovac emailed Julie Moore from the Vermont Department of Health. Kovac received an email from the Ministry of Health on Sunday, authorizing the rink to reopen.

“She said that since we are going to be offering private lessons, and if we can continue to provide rink users the ability to follow directions, we can stay open,” Kovac said.

These guidelines include contact tracing, a COVID-19 questionnaire, temperature monitoring and numerous signs throughout the rink telling visitors how to move safely on the rink.

Riley Rink also makes adjustments to the ice to ensure safety.

“The rink is going to be physically divided into two sections, so there is a physical barrier,” Kovac said.

Kovac said he brought his two children to the rink on Sunday for a private hour-long skating session. With another family on the other side of the ice, the two groups never crossed paths.

“We had three other people on the other sheet, and we never met during our hour-long skating session,” Kovac said. “It worked really well, and that’s what we need to make sure that we will be able to maintain the distance of 6 feet.”

Riley Rink and her private programs will operate under section 8.1 of the Be Smart, Stay Safe Order, which includes “close contact businesses” such as gyms, fitness centers, spas and nail salons. .

Learn to Skate, which pairs newcomers to ice skating with a certified trainer, is currently offered Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at Riley Rink.

The Stick & Puck program allows “players of all ages / skill levels to practice their skills without the pressure of competition” according to

The rink also rents the ice for private sessions. Each one-hour private session costs $ 99. In past years, these sessions cost $ 275.

Recreational ice hockey is currently not permitted in Vermont.

Riley Rink is the home of Burr and Burton. Winter sports in high school are allowed to start practicing on November 30. Kovac said they were working with BBA to establish a timeline.

Kovac said the rink hardly ever opened.

“We were planning not to open this season,” Kovac said.

They have finally decided to open their doors and the Northshire Civic Center Board of Directors is happy to resume its activities.

“We are grateful to our Riley Rink family for embarking on this journey with us. We are strengthened by the support of this incredible community. Go on the ice, but not within 6 feet ”, a message from bed.

To register for the Learn to Skate program or the Stick & Puck program, visit


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