Worthington News

SuperGames brings iceless ice rink to Evening Street Elementary School

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Evening Street Elementary School fifth-grader Carson Smith pulls Aidan Weber (left) and Cole McDermott as they skate on an iceless ice rink from SuperGames on Thursday, Dec. 19. The surface is similar to that of a cutting board.

The Evening Street Elementary School gym last week looked like a cross between a Currier and Ives winter scene and a roller-derby rink.

Working in partnership with SuperGames, the school was able to set up an indoor skating rink, where students in fourth through sixth grade were able to learn to skate or, in some instances, show off their skating prowess.

The rink shined with Christmas lights, and holiday tunes were played in the background as the students glided around the synthetic ice rink.

Some of the students already knew how to skate and flew around the outside, sometimes cutting into the middle to skate backward or otherwise demonstrate their skills.

The students who had not skated previously hung around the outer ring, stepping gingerly along, holding each other up, sometimes helping each other up after a fall.

Evening Street gym teacher George Brinegar said he was pleased to see so many students trying to teach others and so many learning a new skill.

The week before the skating rink took center stage, Brinegar had taken the younger students in the school out to the front lawn to go sledding. He was surprised at the number of first- through third-graders who had never sledded before, he said.

The point of both lessons was to teach children basic skills so they could feel confident in taking part in outdoor winter activities throughout their lives.

At the end of imparting a list of safety rules and suggestions to the sixth-grade class Dec. 19, he said, "We want to make sure everyone comes away learning something about skating."

SuperGames, which supplied the moveable ice rink for the week, has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Evening Street, having provided the school's Field Days over the years.

A $3,500 SuperGames grant allowed Brinegar to share in SuperGames' newest addition: a portable ice rink.

The SuperGames moveable rink comes complete with set-up and 100 pairs of ice skates. A turf decking is incorporated, providing for a complete skating arena.

SuperGames installed the rink at Evening Street, with the gym lessons to be in full force for the coming week.

The rink has been rented by area malls, universities and companies for the coming months, Brinegar said, so he is thankful for this window of opportunity.

SuperGames was founded in 1998 by Gary Moore, a retired Worthington physical education teacher, and provides learning, events and team-building activities throughout the Midwest. SuperGames collaborates with more than 500,000 participants each year in schools, colleges, churches and businesses.