Nfld. & Labrador

Phys ed teacher takes classes outside to skate on the rink he made

Students at Holy Cross Elementary School are getting outside the classroom this winter, thanks to teacher Andrew Martin, who spent two weeks creating a skating rink.

Andrew Martin spent 2 weeks making Holyrood rink, which now is used by students and the public

Andrew Martin is the physical education teacher at Holy Cross Elementary in Holyrood, and spent two weeks creating a skating rink so his students — and community — could get outside this winter. (Twitter)

One teacher in Holyrood has spent weeks building an ice rink behind his school, to allow students to get outside and skate during class.

Andrew Martin is the physical education teacher at Holy Cross Elementary, and he's spent his mornings and evenings hosing down the ice patch to make it ready for skates.

On Wednesday, three classes were heading out on the ice — and it's been a big hit.

"It's quite amazing. Talking to them in the corridor and you can just feel the excitement and the nice little buzz with all the kids, they're pretty pumped about it," Martin said.

You can just feel the excitement and the nice little buzz with all the kids, they're pretty pumped about it.- Andrew Martin, teacher

"And it's more than just myself — the kids have been helping all the way through and I even have some old students that I've taught and who have moved on to other schools come back and help in the evening time, so it's been a really positive experience, I've got to say."

The rink is about 5,500 feet total, Martin said, which allows for a full class to get on for "a nice leisurely skate."

'We're really quite lucky'

In addition to a skating rink, there's a hill right behind the school, and Martin said there's been a lot of work done on that to make it a safe place for students and the community to slide.

"We're really quite lucky as a school in our location to have access to such a great hill and now a rink to go on top of it," Martin told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

A group of students enjoy the wintry outdoors at Holy Cross Elementary, thanks to teacher Andrew Martin. (NLESD/Twitter)

With freezing rain forecasted for most of Newfoundland Wednesday night, Martin said he's ready to do more work to make the rink last through winter — and he's hopeful February will bring cold temperatures so the outdoor fun can continue.

"It's there and members of the community come up after school hours, like grandparents bringing up their young [grand]kids and going for a nice little skate and that stuff, so it's there for all to use," he said.

"It's starting to catch on. More and more people are calling and asking, 'Is it OK if we come up and go for a little skate?' And by all means, the rink is there to be used so it's all good."

With files from the St. John's Morning Show