Prince Albert coach seeks brighter future for outdoor rink

A Prince Albert man is looking to relocate an outdoor rink so it can shape young kids in the community.

Victor Corduban grew up in Romania, playing and coaching 13 years professionally and with the former Romanian national team.

Working with Canadian coaches he was given the chance to move to Saskatchewan and continue his coaching and teaching career. He has a PhD in Physical Education and Sport and is a high performance coach.

“One of them gave me the opportunity to come work here in Canada, so I embraced the Canadian lifestyle as Canada is well known for ice hockey."

Corduban found his community outdoor rink in Shell River Heights had fallen into disrepair after decades of floods.

The rink sits on the bank of the Sturgeon River, which is prone to high water levels during spring runoffs.

Despite the overgrowth, the boards are in decent condition, which Corduban hopes to bring to the new location up the hill.

He says many life lessons can be learned through hockey, which is why he’s spearheading the project to relocate the neighbourhood rink.

“Hockey, first of all, helps kids to develop healthily and has a huge impact on a long life,” said Corduban.

“It also has a social impact where kids form relationships on their team and can be mentored by their coaches, and the parents can build small communities while the kids are playing.”

Corduban hosted a fundraising event on Saturday at the Prince Albert Wildlife Federation.

The outdoor rink project is still in the planning stages as the provincial government has yet to approve a plot of land for the new rink.

The community hopes to have some form of surface ready for the winter, even if it’s just a rough rink with no boards, and add additional equipment like basketball hoops later.