New Brunswick

Miramichi man recognized for neighbourhood backyard rink

Miramichi's Michael Berube is receiving national recognition for his backyard rink as one of Canadian Tire's "Great Canadian Hosers" in 2015.

Michael Berube wins national 'Great Canadian Hoser' award that honours people who encourage play

Miramichi's Michael Berube is receiving national recognition for his backyard rink as one of Canadian Tire's "Great Canadian Hosers" in 2015.

The award honours those who encourage children to get outside and play.

"My rink, it's 32 by 62 and a half in my backyard, wooden boards on the side, they're two feet high and then the end boards we have four foot boards...it's nice having it right behind the house." 

Berube has three sons, aged 7,10 and 12 but says they aren't the only ones who use the rink. 

"There's six or seven boys that live in the neighbourhood... and it's open and I tell everybody and anybody in the neighbourhood, 'Come play if you want.'"

Berube has been building his outdoor rink every winter since his boys were old enough to skate, just as his father did for him.

"I leave the side door to the garage open and they come in and they put their skates on, get their goalie gear, they get their pucks and shovels and sticks and whatever else they need out of the garage and they head out to play."

Rinks used to monitor climate change

Berube is part of a national study called Rink Watch that monitors climate change across Canada.

Researchers from Wildred Laurier University's geology and environmental studies department ask people with outdoor rinks to report on their ice conditions throughout the winter and Berube was the first rink to report in the Maritimes this year.

 "They basically set up a website, so you go in and you log in as a rink builder and you let them know about your ice conditions."

Berube received a golden hose from Canadian Tire along with a $1,000 gift card, which he says will go towards a new hose and other equipment to keep his rink in good shape.

"It's nice to get recognized for myself and for all the other people across the country that spend the long hours out on the rink getting it ready for their kids, for the neighbourhoods, keeping them active, getting them involved in sports."

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