A new ODR (outdoor rink) at the Deerfoot Sportsplex was officially unveiled on Tuesday, December 7th, alongside friends and partners from the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC). The rink is the product of a direct relationship with the Calgary Flames Foundation and was first announced in the early spring of 2021.
Dignitaries from Siksika Nation Chief & Council, CSEC, and some recognizable Calgary sports faces were on hand for the announcement, and to share about the significance of this new recreational facility.
“Sports are about building leadership qualities, networks, and partnerships that will stay with you forever. Partnerships like this help allow our kids the opportunities that they might not otherwise have,” Chief Ouray Crowfoot explains.
The promotion of overall well-being through sport continues to be a focus at Siksika Health Services. The organization’s CEO, Dr. Tyler White expressed his gratitude and excitement to grow the relationship with the Flames Foundation.
“It’s an honour to be here to establish this partnership and relationship. This is more than an outdoor rink – it’s a rink of hope and opportunity. It’s been a challenging couple years with COVID, but this gives us something to look forward to,” says White.
On hand for the announcement were honoured guests: Siksika Nation Elder, Alvine Eagle Speaker who offered welcoming remarks and an opening prayer; Mike Moore, VP of the Calgary Hitmen and Calgary Roughnecks; Jeff McCaig, Chairman of the Calgary Flames Foundation Board of Directors, as well as a who’s who of Calgary sports: Calgary Stampeders General Manager, John Hufnagel; Calgary Flames alumni, Robyn Regehr, and Curtis Glencross; and Calgary Roughnecks, Kyle Waters, and Harrison Matsuoka.
“This partnership offers opportunity to learn, share in important traditions, and work together to grow and change lives. The upcoming Jan. 15 Every Child Matters game will showcase some great athleticism, while also addressing racism and stereotypes, and provide opportunities for others to learn culture and tradition,” Moore says. “Nothing would make me more proud than to one day have a Siksika Nation member play for the Calgary Hitmen.”
The Calgary Flames Outdoor Rink is the first outdoor rink in Siksika Nation, and will serve a population of more than 4,000 people with six schools in our area. The ODR will provide a comfortable and supportive environment locally for people to improve their wellbeing through recreational activity.
The ODR will be used year-round, with plans already in motion to host rollerblading, skateboarding, lacrosse, basketball and ground hockey in the off-season. Programs and classes will help people reach their mental health and fitness goals, while promoting the sport and values of athleticism.