By Lucas Van Deventer
Following through with the idea of embracing winter during the long season as people know it in New England, what’s more perfect than to have an ice skating rink in the center of campus at Springfield College?
Last weekend, the ice skating rink was opened for experienced skaters or anyone on campus willing to give skating a try. There were over 100 students who decided to take advantage of the accommodation that has been offered. Moreover, ice skating can become a great activity to keep moving amid the long-standing Coronavirus pandemic.
Laura Cafaro, a Graduate Assistant in Student Activities, believes that the ice skating rink provides a great way to stay in motion for everyone.
“Springfield College is filled with students who are athletic and love to be outside, so I think it’s great to kind of keep that going,” she said.
Cafaro also commented that a lot of the work and progress to get the ice skating rink up and running for students and faculty to use should be gratified by appreciating the hard work of the facilities crew at Springfield and Director of Student Activities Annie Warchol. The rink could not have been created without them.
“We wanted this semester to be special, so Annie came up with the wonderful idea to have the winter wonderland theme. It [the rink] wasn’t entirely specific to go with the winter wonderland theme, but to go in competently with what the Division of Student Affairs put out to kind of embrace winter is what we were going for,” Cafaro said.
Not only did this action go through, but the efforts put in for the operation involved many helping hands. “A lot of praise for them because if it wasn’t for them, we would not have this ice rink,” Cafaro added.
The rink will be available to enjoy following the careful precautions, procedures and rules. It is said that all students on the ice must wear a mask at all times and the limit of how many people are allowed on the ice is 25.
The rink is also open for at least four hours at a time and most people should stay spread out. However, with the certain rules and procedures in place, an official schedule as to when it will be opened during the week and weekend has not been decided yet. Still, more updates are to come in the near future.
If there are questions about the ice skating rink or any proceeding issues, students can contact Tom Verrico, the Assistant Director in Campus Recreation for Intramurals and Club Sports. The facility in charge of the task of maintaining the ice rink’s condition daily include Paul DeMaria, Connie Venezia, and Chris Gaumond. They are tasked with continuing the hard work and dedication to fulfill the student’s needs as much as possible during their time on ice.
As the second week rolls in for students on campus, they can continue to follow along with the schedule posted every day from Student Activities. Students who have experienced the rink already begin to say how fun and a little more stress free it is; that is if you know how to stay up and are considered a natural. For those who are just starting, it may take some time getting used to.
“I liked that I had the rink to myself pretty much, so if I fell, it was okay since I wasn’t in any one’s way or anything,” said Gaby Pagnotta, a junior at Springfield.
Some skaters who tried it out on the ice found their time to be enjoyable, but a little hard getting used to at first. However, ice skating helps those who want the exercise, to stay active.
“It was nice. I think the ice was a little bumpy, they could’ve brushed the excess ice off, but overall it was fine, it was fun,” said Brianna Crucitti, another junior student.
When the week begins to build up with excessive class assignments and exams, keep on the lookout for the hours the rink is open to relieve any stress. The rink is a great opportunity for students to enjoy the nice wintery season.
Using the current positive reactions from the participants, there could be a good possibility that the ice rink comes back next year. With that in mind, the facilities and the Campus Recreation will have to bring back that same hard work again.
“Right now, we’re hoping that this becomes an annual sort of event for students on campus since our facilities team built it. Our goal for it is to have it deeply stored away during the off season and then when winter rolls back around when that cold weather comes back for us, we’re hoping to have it back out there on the Admin Green next year,” Cafaro concluded.
Photo Courtesy of Springfield College Marketing & Communications