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Bethune Rink

Bethune rink changes with the times.

Compared to the advanced age of some hockey rinks in Saskatchewan communities, the Bethune Community Sports Centre - built in 1993 - practically still has that "new rink" smell.

In fact, at first glance, the only sign of the structure being at all worse for wear is a dent in the aluminium siding on one of the corners.

"Someone drove into it," explained Woody Huber, treasurer of the board that operates the Bethune Community Sports Centre.

But, due to the increasing prevalence of females playing hockey on all-women's teams and co-ed kid’s teams, the rink will be getting a few upgrades before the start of the 2010-2011 hockey season.

Those improvements include the construction of a women's dressing room and referees' room.   The new dressing room will involve the construction of an addition to the building, on the same corner as the aforementioned dent.

Huber says the improvements are being eagerly anticipated by the players who use the rink.

"They've been after this girls' dressing room for a long time," he said.

The rink is an extremely busy place during hockey season.

Between the start of November and the end of March, there are teams on the ice every single day, and the players are not just coming from Bethune.  Teams in need of ice time regularly travel from Lumsden, Craik, Regina Beach, Dilke, Holfast and as far away as Moose Jaw and Regina for practices and games.

The improvements are going to cost approximately $100,000.  To raise money, there were a number of fundraising activities, including casino nights and suppers.  Proceeds from the rink's lunch counter provided an additional source of funds.

The federal and provincial governments also contributed a significant portion of the needed funding via a federal and provincial grant program named the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) fund. 

Through RInC, each level of government contributed $20,000.  Huber says that the government grants made the improvements possible.

"When we started, we were only going to build a building that was worth $60,000," Huber said.

Since [successfully applying for the grants], we decided to add a few more things."

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