Future of Knobby's Kids still undecided

AM800-News-Knobbys-Kids-2016

Questions still surround the future of Knobby's Kids, a free hockey program for youth in Windsor-Essex.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the season in 2020 due to the closure of area arenas including the outdoor rink at Lanspeary Park off Ottawa Street.

While ice time is available this year, program head Marty Kerester says the program could be on hold for another year.

"The ice is going to be available, but we don't know anything about protocols for COVID-19," he says. "Will the washrooms be open? Will the rooms be open? Does everyone have to be vaccinated? It changes every other week."

Kerester says the organization has been seeking direction from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

"We know that the kids were disappointed last year and we don't want to disappoint them again, but with the COVID-19 protocols in place, if we can't do it we're going to have to suspend it for one more year," says Kerester.

He says the program is for kids aged five to 16, and everyone who missed their final season, will still get to hit the ice when things resume.

"We're going to raise the age limit so that the kids that weren't able to join us last year in their last year will now be able to join us again," he added.

Knobby's Kids was founded by Jerry Slavic and the late Robert "Knobby" Knudsen when the pair saw a need for a free hockey program in the community.

The program usually gets underway at the end of November.

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi