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Estevan family loves using their massive backyard rink

The outdoor skating area measures 60 feet long by 40 feet wide, and has four-foot boards at each end and two-foot boards on each side.
Boston Tait, Jack Cassidy and Keith Cassidy on the backyard rink at the Cassidy home.

ESTEVAN — Keith Cassidy has built what is likely one of the largest backyard rinks in Estevan.

The outdoor skating area measures 60 feet long by 40 feet wide, and has four-foot boards at each end and two-foot boards on each side. His wife Becky has added lighting so that the rink can be used at night, and she did “a great job”, Keith said.

The Cassidys live on a big double lot, giving them lots of room for their rink. They have had one, whenever possible, for six or seven years.

“It’s one of the reasons that we bought the house is for the size of the backyard,” said Keith.

The rink was finished in the first week of January.

“I think the kids will get a lot of use out of it, and we should be able to use it for at least a couple months,” said Keith.

Becky’s oldest child Boston Tait has been out on the ice regularly, as has Becky and Keith’s son Jack, who is playing for the Estevan Cubs hockey program. Their daughter Isla has her first pair of skates and will take some tours on the ice.

“We’ve got some pretty good use from it so far,” said Keith. “It’s probably time for me to resurface it, but that’s another challenge.”

A few of Boston’s teammates with the Estevan TS&M U15 AA Bruins have been by to make use of the rink already.

Keith said he continues to create an outdoor rink because he always wanted one when he was growing up, but only had it once or twice. His kids love being able to skate outdoors.

“It’s something that works well with our family,” Keith said.

The weather has been great for the rink, and it looks really good for the coming weeks, too.

“One of the thoughts, when we were putting in rinks previously, is a lot of times it’s either too warm to go skating on it, or it’s going to be -40 and nobody wants to go out and skate. But the weather is set up pretty nicely for everything,” said Keith.

The snow that Estevan received just before Christmas delayed the ice installation process, and they had to remove all the snow.

“We had about three feet of snow in our backyard, and took everything our old snowblower could do to get it out of the way,” he said.  

It takes patience to build a rink of this size, Keith said, and they had to build it in bits and pieces.

“The biggest thing for us was trying to get enough water on it, because of the size of it, and that took quite a while.”

A backyard rink is a great way for kids to build their skill level, he said. It’s good for them to be out there as much as possible, especially for Jack who’s finding his love for the game. As for Boston, it offers good opportunities to work on skills that he might not be able to work on in practice.  

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