Earlier this week I put out a call to send in your favorite grassroots hockey images along with a narrative that helps understand why the photo is so important to you. Within hours, I was looking at the photos you see below. They come from Mary Haas, a Chicago-area hockey mom and owner of a great-looking backyard rink.
We live in the Chicago area, and this will be the 3rd year we’ve put up our back yard rink. The first year we did it, our son and daughter could barely stand on skates. Each winter the amount of time we all spend on the rink has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s the place to be in the neighborhood, and we love it.
The pictures below are from a shinny game from January 1, 2010. The neighborhood gang decided to do their own “Winter Classic” before the televised version came on. Turns out we all ditched the TV and stayed out all afternoon playing. The best part was that we got a few youngsters that were previously afraid to go and skate to give it a try. At the end of the day one boy was a converted hockey enthusiast and started lessons right away!
Can’t wait to put it up again this year.
Mary also sent in a video of her backyard stars celebrating the inaugural skate of the 09-10 season. There is nothing like watching kids tool around on an outdoor rink without a care in the world. My favorite part is the little one working on his one-legged balance towards the end.
Thanks for sharing, Mary. Your children may look at the rink as a little winter playground now, but when they get older they’ll realize how important it was in bringing family, friends, and neighbors together. And that’s what it’s all about.
Have an image you’d like to share with the Backyard-Hockey community? Send it, and your narrative, to firstname.lastname@example.org.