It was the place to be in the wintertime when we were kids. Every neighbourhood had one. The outdoor rinks in Moose Jaw were special places when I was growing up in Moose Jaw in the 70s.
We had one at Crighton Park where the Kinsmen Sportsplex sits today. The City of Moose Jaw employed people to operate the rinks back in the day. They'd show up at 4 o'clock on weekday afternoons and build fires in the wood burning stove. The ice would always be fresh because they'd put a fresh flood on just about every night. If it snowed, they had multiple shovels in the shack and we'd all chip in. Sometimes we'd have to shovel so much we didn't have the energy to play hockey afterwards.
I remember some nights we'd have so many kids out to play hockey we'd have to split the ice in half and have two games. If you were one of the good players, you could play in the game that used the old metal nets. The rest of us had to play in the game where we used boots for goal posts.
I also remember clearly - one team I was on when I was 10 years old practiced indoors once a week and we also skated every Tuesday night, outdoors, no matter the weather, at the west end rink on Athabasca Street. No other team in our league did that. You know, we won the city championship that year.
Coaches? Did you hear that?