Free sensory-friendly ice skating coming to the Kids Rink at the Trail Memorial Centre

City of Trail
By City of Trail
March 17th, 2022

Trail Parks & Recreation is teaming up with Movin’ Mountains Therapy Services to host free sensory-friendly skating in the Kids Rink at the Trail Memorial Centre. This new collaboration is generously funded by the Murphy Family Foundation as part of the foundation’s $370,000 USD contribution to the City of Trail over the span of six years to go toward rink upgrades to accommodate a longer operating season and free community programs. Four free sensory-friendly skates will take place from April through June 2022. All the details are available at www.trail.ca/SensorySkates.

“The sensory-friendly skates provide a unique opportunity for kids and families who might face barriers when accessing public skates. Things like bright lights, noise and large groups of people can prevent some kids and families from accessing recreation opportunities,” said Erin Meggait, owner of Movin’ Mountains Therapy Services. “These skates are designed to remove barriers and improve accessibility, so everyone can experience and enjoy ice skating in a supportive environment.”

The Murphy Family Foundation is very pleased to be a part of this collaborative program as part of its funding to the City. “Our foundation focuses on funding opportunities and programs that dismantle barriers youth face to accessing programming, from the arts, to sports and recreation,” said Madelyn Murphy, Director of the Murphy Family Foundation. “It’s important to our foundation that we continue to educate ourselves and recognize when programming we fund isn’t accessible to everyone, and if there are any opportunities to make it more inclusive. Having fun should be accessible to all kids. We want to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and supported so it can be a fun experience, and not an overwhelming or stressful one.” 

During the sensory-friendly skates, the Kids Rink will be modified to accommodate low lighting and minimal noise and smells. The skates will be held during some of the Trail Memorial Centre’s quieter times, and attendance will be limited to avoid crowding. A designated quiet and warming zone next to the rink will be equipped with colouring books and sensory toys. Sensory kits including ear protection, sunglasses and information booklets will also be available, along with free skate rentals and skate assists.

“We are so honoured to be asked to collaborate on this program,” said Meggait. “We are passionate about meeting needs in our community and we can’t wait to see our clients and their families out on the ice!”

“We are so thrilled to partner with Erin and the team at Movin’ Mountains to provide sensory-friendly programming,” said Murphy. “We’re lucky to have her team’s passion and expertise to guide this process, and I hope we can collaborate on many more inclusive programs.”

About the Movin’ Mountains Therapy Services
Movin’ Mountains Therapy Services provides physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and clinical counselling for children and adults through empowerment, play and function.  We believe that the small successes attained during therapy sessions translate into big victories when out in the real world. We empower and support individuals and families to overcome barriers, live well and do the things that they love to do.

About the Murphy Family Foundation
The Murphy Family Foundation is a Minnesota based foundation focused on supporting organizations dedicated to youth development. With specific focuses on funding education, the arts, entrepreneurship, and sports programming for youth, the foundation is committed to the belief that every young person in every community has the right to thrive.

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