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Lakeshore To Host Sensory Friendly Skates

Friday March 17th, 2023, 1:08pm

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Sensory-friendly skate dates are coming to Lakeshore’s Atlas Tube Recreation Centre(ATRC) starting in April, thanks to the Belle River District Minor Hockey Association.

Frank Jeney, Division Leader – Community Services, says the inspiration came from Shari Fallon, Director of Events for the minor hockey club.

As the mother of a neurodivergent child and a child with an intellectual disability, Fallon is attuned to recognizing specific types of challenges.
“I have experienced inclusion gaps due to sensory processing challenges and ability to participate,” she says. “At a recent board meeting of the Belle River District Minor Hockey Association, there was a conversation about inclusion gaps and how as a hockey association, we can help close those gaps.”

The decision to offer ice time to individuals with intellectual, emotional, or developmental disabilities is one way to address the inclusion gap.

“Skating rinks can be overwhelming places for people with sensory sensitivities because of the loud noises and bright lights. When Shari approached us with this idea, we were very excited to participate,” says Jeney. “We are always looking for ways to expand recreational opportunities in our community, and Shari’s idea allows us to provide rink programming for people who may not have participated in the past.”

The first sensory-friendly skates are free of charge. Participants must pre-register by calling 519-727-0470. Skate dates have been scheduled at the ATRC as follows:

  • Mondays from April 3rd to May 29th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Fridays from April 21st to August 18th from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Mondays from July 3rd to August 14th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm

 

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