Outdoor rink at Nipissing University benefiting students

With gyms and recreations centres remaining closed, the outdoor rink at Nipissing University is a popular spot for students. (Jaime McKee/CTV News)

The outdoor rink at Nipissing University is on campus every winter, but with indoor recreation facilities closed, it's become more popular than ever.

“I think the students have really appreciated the fact that they have an opportunity to step right outside their door in residence, and there’s an opportunity for them to get some fresh air, to get some exercise and to really help them with their mental health and well-being with limited opportunities during these lockdown situations,” said Casey Phillips, assistant vice-president at Nipissing University.

While students are always attracted to using the outdoor facility, Phillips said this year it’s rarely empty.

“It gives them the opportunity to keep that physical activity in their daily life," he said.

"Obviously that has (an) impact on their general well-being, their studies, just overall their general well-being and holistic sense of themselves.”

The rink is also an opportunity to introduce students to skating. Through the school's international student support office, skates can be purchased and given to those who want to skate but don’t have their own equipment.