As one of Canada’s fastest growing municipalities, volunteers and leaders in Martensville, Sask., are hoping to see a new multi-purpose sports facility in the city, including an additional indoor ice sheet.
Trevor Hanley, president of the Martensville Minor Hockey Association, said the organization currently books ice time for practices in Martensville, Dalmeny, Langham and Waldheim.
Home games happen primarily in Martensville, but some parents and players have to travel more than half an hour out of the city for practices.
“We could fill two rinks tomorrow if that’s ultimately what the reality was,” Hanley said, adding even one additional sheet of ice wouldn’t totally alleviate the problem.
Communities nearby are also increasing hockey enrollment, Hanley said, making it even more difficult to schedule ice time.
In 2014, a group of 13 people “had a dream” to create a new multipurpose sports facility in Martensville, according to Jesse Reis.
Reis is the chairperson of the Martensville Community Recreation Project (MCRP), which has held grassroots fundraisers over the years to raise money for the arena.
He said the group is “trying to find opportunities as a growing community to feed the needs of the community.”
According to the most recent census data, Martensville’s population jumped 25 per cent from 7,716 people in 2011 to 9,645 in 2016.
The City of Martensville has earmarked $6.5 million in seed funding for the project with fundraising expected to cover the balance. So far, the MCRP has brought in $250,000, according to Mayor Kent Muench.
“The MCRP has been instrumental in raising awareness and building capacity in the community to raise funds,” Muench said.
A few years ago, Martensville commissioned a survey to audit demand and use of its parks and recreation facilities.
The study revealed the local rink “is not only full, but over-full,” Muench said.
There is no targeted date for construction of the new facility to begin.