Backyard hockey rink is labour of love for Leduc couple
Published Friday, January 4, 2013 7:30AM MST Last Updated Friday, January 4, 2013 6:19PM MST
A Leduc couple has brought their love for hockey right into their own backyard.
Erron and Christa Steele have set up a rink that would be comparable to those in any community centre. The difference is the rink is right in their backyard.
It’s a project Erron began years ago, and it’s grown ever since.
“I've been doing it for a good eight years now and it's just always progressed and got bigger every year and it's morphed into this,” he said.
When it started, it was just a small patch of ice.
“The first rink was just shoveled snow to the sides and I turned the sprinkler on. I added small boards and the boards got bigger and better,” Erron said.
“It’s gone from just a little patch of ice into this massive rink that you see now and I think that it's wonderful,” Christa said.
Now the rink features team and company logos and is complete with a score board that was originally used in the Thorsby arena.
The rink has become a favourite pastime for the couple’s two young children.
“The kids spend a lot of time out here,” Erron said.
“My girl is twelve and my boy is nine and they are out here every weekend with friends and during Christmas holidays for five or six hours a day,” Erron said.
The kids’ friends are always stopping by as well – using the family’s home as their change room.
“I think it's pretty cool,” said nine-year-old Niklas Steele. “All my friends can skate on it.”
The rink also helps keep Niklas, his sister and their friends active and playing outdoors.
“They’re not playing PlayStation 3, they are not on the computer all the time, they are just loving being outside and I like that,” Christa said.
This year Erron took off the Oilers emblem due to the NHL lockout, instead placing a Team Canada logo on the ice.
“I wasn’t going to use the Oilers this year. I was a little frustrated with the lockout,” he said.
“I thought I’d put Canada on there, I’ve always wanted to do that one, especially with Nuge playing over there in the world juniors.”
The lines and emblems on the ice was done by Erron, Christa and Erron’s sister. They used a projector and traced out designs on tissue paper.
And while building such a rink may seem like a daunting task for most, the Steeles say it’s all worth it.
“It is a lot of work and it and when you think about it we have to shovel our backyard ever time it snows which is crazy but the kids love it,” Christa said.
“It's fun to watch the kids faces and to watch your guys faces when you come out it's neat to see because nobody expects this in a backyard.”
With files from Rob Williams