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Arena users asked to swap

Blame it on the popularity of the new twin arenas. Demand for ice time has Woolwich scrambling to meet the needs of user groups. Officials think they have a possible solution in a swap meet of sorts.

Woolwich Minor Ringette requires some additional ice time at the Woolwich Memorial Centre, but the slots available – Saturday evening and early Sunday morning – don’t fit the organization’s schedule. Recreation staff is now asking other users to think about trading time slots to accommodate the young girls who want to play ringette.

Discussing the issue Tuesday night, councillors decided on the cooperative approach. While guidelines favour youth groups when assigning ice times, the township would rather not get heavy-handed about the time slots.

It’s a matter of balancing new requests with the needs of those who’ve already booked time, facilities manager Brian Detzler told councillors.

“We have to figure how to accommodate new requests. And how do we continue to recognize existing customers?”

Given that that there are still prime time hours available, the township should be able to act as mediator in working something out, said Coun. Sandy Shantz.

Fellow Ward 1 councillor Ruby Weber agreed, but noted the township should be favouring youth groups over, say, adult pickup hockey.

“We built these arenas for the kids,” she said, arguing the township shouldn’t be afraid to lose some adult bookings.

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