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Free Play for Kids program gifted outdoor rink in Edmonton

Click to play video 'Free Play for Kids program gifted outdoor rink at Edmonton community league' Free Play for Kids program gifted outdoor rink at Edmonton community league
WATCH ABOVE: Alberta organization Free Play for Kids now has an outdoor rink at the Homesteader Community League thanks in part to Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation.

An Alberta organization that gives kids a chance to play sports at no cost has been gifted an outdoor rink in Edmonton.

“This is the first time in Free Play [for Kids] history that weโ€™ve been able to get the kids on the ice thanks to the [Edmonton] Oilers Community Foundation and the Scotiabank Hockey Club,” coach Sadie Reid said.

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The rink is at the Homesteader Community League and it was built in just over a week.

Free Play for Kids rink at the Homesteader Community League. Eric Beck / Global News

“Seeing the kids, the smiles on their faces when they touch the ice โ€”ย  it’s all worth it,” Reid said.

“Some of them have never even seen the ice before, so just giving them the chance to go for a skate and see the atmosphere and explain what all the marks mean on the boards โ€” itโ€™s really cool.”

The kids were also supplied with hockey equipment.

“Go through the process of having them put on their skates and try all their equipment on โ€” then kind of coming out and plopping on ice for the first time โ€” it was so cool,” Reid explained.

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Reid added that after a difficult year, having a space like the outdoor rink is important. To not only get outdoors but help find connections again.

“It’s not just about sport at the end of the day,” she said.

“We want to give them the space to be able to express themselves, to learn to feel safe, to kind of challenge themselves outside of their comfort zone.”