Inwood teenagers revive local arena

Twyla Siple, Interlake Publishing

Some hard working farm boys from the Hamlet of Inwood are keeping their community alive this winter by operating their local sports club’s ice rink.

Within the last year, with the help of friends and family, Luke Hendrickson accomplished his immense goal of reviving Inwood’s hockey arena, and his father Henry couldn’t be more proud.

“In all the towns, the rinks are all dying across Manitoba, not just here. This is the only hockey arena in the Rural Municipality of Armstrong,” said Henry. “The doors were closed until my son and everybody that wanted this rink said, ‘How are we going to do it?’ And I said, ‘the only way we are going to do this is if you guys get in there and fire it up.’”

After starting a Go Fund Me page at the beginning of 2017, they have raised over $5500, but they still need to consistently fundraise to keep the monthly $1000 hydro bill covered.

Keifer Hazelton, Carter Hazelton, Easton Hazelton, Graham Moore, Luke Hendrickson, Chris Mott, Tyson Hazelton, Alex Morin, and Thomas James Davies have all volunteered to do the work. Their small community has since banded together to the tune of the inspiration of these 16 and 17-year-old boys. They host public skating twice a week; and one of the local moms, Michelle Hazelton, makes burgers and runs the canteen during hockey night every Friday.

Even with the bills paid “you still need to have a base of people to do the work,” said Henry. “Someone to go and open up the rink, someone to make the ice, someone to flood the ice, and the boys are doing it. We have an old 1964 International Tractor with an old school Zamboni on the back of it, so if anyone has a Zamboni they want to donate we would gladly take it.”

They will be having their 2nd annual Tennis Ball Hockey Tournament Jan. 26 and 27, and are looking for donations for their silent auctions.
They have the cheapest ice rental rates in the Interlake. “At $50 per hour, that is a third of anywhere in Manitoba,” said Henry. “It’s a beautiful old arena. It’s just a good place for all the local kids in all the areas to come.”

For more information on how to donate or volunteer, call or text Henry Hendrickson at 204-886-7805 or follow the Inwood Sports Club page on Facebook.

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