I ? to Skate PEI

As Canadians, is there nothing more quintessential to our identity than winter? Snow, toques, beaver tails and embracing winter are all part of who we are. Whether it is before or after work, on weekends or most of our free time, it is safe to say that we spend a lot of time on the ICE! For some of us, learning to skate was as essential as learning to walk! Given our love of the ice, and all the different sports this skill can bring to our lives, we saw it fitting to find a way to get more Islanders moving in winter. 

As one of our quintessential winter activities, skating is a fun way to get physically active in the colder months for all ages. Thanks to Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities funding, we implemented the “I Love to Skate PEI” program across the province. This established program was initially launched and developed for larger urban areas such as Ottawa and Halifax. We however made changes to their version of their program to fit PEI’s unique landscape. First, we procured over 250 pairs of new skates and over 300 new helmets for Islanders of all ages (from 4 years of age and up) to borrow at no charge to them. These are located in Charlottetown, Summerside, Georgetown, Borden-Carleton and with the Western Region Sports & Recreation Council. This contribution to communities across the province hopes to eliminate the barrier some may face in participating in this fun winter activity.

The second component, the free recreation programs for children (4-18 years of age), took place in those same five locations and were very popular. With over 160 kids enrolled and more on the wait lists, we knew we had a winner. Week over week, smiling faces hit the ice. Children of different backgrounds and abilities participating in the program learned and/or improved on a number of fundamental skating skills and have gained a lot of confidence in themselves! Parents and children asked if we would be doing this again and we had our fingers crossed that this would be the start of an annual offering from go!PEI and our partners.

Well, we are so pleased to announce that we have once again received funding and the program will be offered in over 10 communities across PEI this year between November and December. To find out more, get enrolled or to simply learn about physical activity programs happening in your community, please contact our community partners here.