Erika Meneses and Jessa Belmonte skate around at Bowers Ponds in Red Deer Wednesday during the Central Alberta Refugee Effort's Learn to Skate Program. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

New Canadians can learn to skate at upcoming event in Red Deer

CARE for Newcomers hosting Learn to Skate event on Jan. 5

CARE for Newcomers will host an event where new Canadians can learn how to skate.

The Learn to Skate event will take place at Bower Ponds from 1-4 p.m. on Jan. 5. This serves as an opportunity for newcomer youths and families to practise skating outdoors.

“There are few things more Canadian than skating on a frozen sheet of water, laughing with friends, playing a game of shinny, and warming up with a mug of hot chocolate,” CARE for Newcomers said in the media release.

“That experience is worth sharing, especially with youth who are new to Canada. That is why CARE For Newcomers are once again organizing an afternoon of skating for all newcomer youth (and their families) new to Red Deer.”

This is the 10th year CARE for Newcomers will host its Learn to Skate program. The event is free of charge to immigrants and refugees, and all equipment will be provided.

“It is always a fun afternoon of learning basic skating skills, enjoying the outdoor atmosphere at Bower Ponds, and meeting new people,” said the media release.

Learn to Skate was created in 2012 at the request of a newcomer student who wanted to learn how to skate.

“Many immigrant youth feel too embarrassed to attempt skating with their Canadian peers and this program gives them the space and time to practice with other youth who are also only beginning to learn. Each year the youth express how thankful they are to have been given the opportunity and how much fun they had,” said Care for Newcomers.

The events also serves as a kickoff to the weekly Friday Youth Skate Night program, which is targeted to middle and high school aged youths. This program will be held at the Bower Place Community Association Rink (85 Boyce St.) every Friday from 5-8 p.m. from January to March. In addition to skating, the program features indoor games, a fire and hot chocolate.

“This is a great opportunity for newcomer and Canadian youth to come together and have something fun and safe to do on Friday evenings after school,” the CARE for Newcomers media release said.

CARE for Newcomers, previously known as Central Alberta Refugee Effort, is a Red Deer-based newcomer settlement agency. It has supported newcomer settlement for more than 35 years. For more information on the agency, visit www.carefornewcomers.ca.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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