Win 4 Kids Finalist- Victor Lauriston School

Victor_Lauriston_School_Photo-_600pxl.jpgAs Canadians, many of us take ice-skating for granted. Hockey is our national sport, but we forget there are kids who can’t afford the basic equipment, including skates and helmets.

Victor Lauriston Public School in Chatham runs a winter skating program that enables students in grades 3 to 8 to try skating. As part of the program, students get a chance to visit the local skating arena approximately five times a year.

“We have many kids at the school who would otherwise not be able to participate in curling and skating activities because they don’t own the equipment,” said Erin Van De Wiele, principal of Victor Lauriston Public School.

Approximately 80 per cent of the students don’t own their own skates or helmets, so the school loans them the equipment for the winter months. Kids even get to take their skates home so they can go skating in their spare time. Skates and helmets are returned in April when the local rink removes the ice.

Each year the school purchases a skating pass that allows teachers to book ice time at the Memorial Arena. Students walk to the arena and skate for approximately an hour at a time. Without the equipment loan program, most of the students would have to sit on the sidelines.

Principal Van De Wiele says, the challenge is that helmets have an expiry date and the skates are quickly becoming worn and unusable.

“With this many students wearing the skates and helmets year after year, the equipment wears out and becomes outdated. Funding would enable us to replenish the equipment more regularly.”

Funds from GoodLife Kids Foundation would be used to offset the cost of the skating pass, skate and helmet replacement and skate sharpening to ensure students can continue to glide smoothly.

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