Monthly Archives: December 2020

How One Community Gave Back to Local Kids: Synthetic Ice Skating at its Best!

John Robertson, a youth hockey volunteer in Waterville, Maine, knew that they had to make a plan for the 5000+ underprivileged kids in their community.

Being in the midst of a pandemic makes it especially hard for youth hockey players to have ice time and SmartRink was pleased to be selected for such a noteworthy project.

“We had to come up with a plan for this winter to get kids on the ice, or in this case the synthetic ice, with everything that’s going on,” says Central Maine Youth Hockey volunteer John Robertson, “This was our best bang for our buck.”

And the really cool part is that its the first SmartRink synthetic ice community rink ever installed in Maine.

SmartRinks ProFast line is a unique German engineered skating surface with the perfect blend of high performance and durability. Our sinter pressed process allows us to use a higher molecular weight material that exhibits superior glide, but also no dusty residue – something is particularly important in a youth centre. The quality and durability of this product line was the perfect solution for a large multi purpose training centre. The durable ProFast panels always lie flat, ensuring a seamless feel when skating.

CEO Ken Walsh of the Alfond Youth & Community Centre says it well; “So even in the summer months, we could take it and put it outside in the parking lot and people could still skate. Isn’t that awesome, it’s a great part about this thing and you can place it anywhere.”

Their ultimate goal is to build a full size arena through fundraising. But for now this SmartRink is the ideal medium term solution.  They will be able to rent this surface out to community groups as part of their overall fundraising efforts while still providing needed access to the hockey club.

From all of us here at SmartRink, we want to congratulate the Central Maine Youth Hockey Association on a job well done! It is terrific to see communities come together and fill a need like this!

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How to Avoid Kids Video Game Binging During Lockdown

Like many 12 year old boys, Johnny loved hockey.  He would spend every waking moment on the ice if he could, and his parents were more than supportive given the amount of other kids who invest countless hours binge playing video games.

You can only imagine the devastation this boy, and many other kids in his community faced when the Covid lock down hit his hometown and the rink (which was really his second home) was closed down.  For a child who has spent much of his life, including many weeknights and every weekend on the ice, it is almost traumatizing to think about hockey and ice time coming to a complete stop, but there was no better time to seek out an alternative solution!

A home rink just made sense and for the Smith family.  It was a great project for Jonny’s father to take on, as you can imagine now working from home and also being on lock down was hard for the whole family.

We discussed products, size, a goal crease and we put together a package that arrived at his doorstep in less than 2 days! 

One product feature they appreciated was the option to stagger panels row to row – a unique design to SmartRinks products. The staggered or brick bond setup makes for a stronger joint pattern that is especially helpful when the floor under the material is not uniformly flat or level. In addition, this pattern can reduce otherwise wasted cut panels! For example, when cutting half of the panel off the end of one row, you can use the remaining piece for the beginning of the next.

We walked him through each step of the install and in no time at all Johnny was back on the ice again!

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