Three ice pads in Centre Wellington to open Oct. 5

CENTRE WELLINGTON – Ice at the three pads here is set to be ready on Oct. 5.

Both pads A and B at the CW Community Sportsplex, and at the Elora Community Centre will be ready for skaters, according to a township release.

This is an accelerated plan. Originally only two ice pads were to open.

“Staff have been extremely active in communicating with other provincial organizations, the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit and our local minor sports groups to develop a strategy for opening our arenas safely,” said Mayor Kelly Linton.

“I am grateful to staff and community organizations as they continue to make the health and safety of our residents a priority.

“Although our arenas will not operate as they have in the past, our minor sports groups are ready to return to play, and we are here to implement new risk mitigation procedures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”

The township is taking a phased approach that will allow staff to adjust rules or limit numbers as needed.

Ice will reopen in phase 1 for priority users such as minor sports groups, and then for private rentals and adult leagues in phase 2.

During the start-up phases, there will be less ice available and capacity limits for users to allow for proper cleaning and disinfecting, risk mitigation controls and proper following of provincial orders.

Hours of operation will be Monday to Friday from 4 to 11pm; and Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 10pm on all ice pads.

At first, ice allocation will be only for CW Minor Hockey Association, Grand River Girls Hockey, Elora Fergus Ringette, Fergus Skating Club and the Elora Skating Club.

Return to play documents have been provided by each association and approved by the township and public health.

Officials say township facility guidelines and protocol must be adhered to, including limiting the number of players on the ice.

For the time being, no private rentals are available and no township programs will take place (i.e. public skating or shinny programs).

There will also be no tournaments or special events in phase 1.

“Centre Wellington Minor Hockey has been diligently working on plans for return to play in Centre Wellington,” said Christine Cook, president of CW minor hockey.

“Our association will be following the Return to Play Framework that the Ontario Hockey Federation has set, along with additional guidelines and protocols as laid out by the Ontario Minor Hockey Association.

“We are very appreciative of the continued support of the Centre Wellington parks and recreation department and the [Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health] unit.

“Our priority is a safe return to development and modified play for our players.”

“The Grand River Mustangs Girls Hockey family is excited to get our players back to the game of hockey on Oct. 5,” said its president, Mindy Ferguson.

“We appreciate the township’s commitment to getting youth back on the ice.

“We are busy planning the details of our return to play and look forward to being at the rink this fall.”