Before 1993, Low had no hockey arena just the outdoor rink at the high school. A determined community with lots of hard work and passion for the sport built their own arena. Members of the community donated all machinery, materials and manpower. The arena is still volunteer-run. I was encouraged to come play with the women’s hockey club. Without that push I may have never played, that is what has encouraged me to nominate Low to give back to the community. Being a lower income community and having lost many services (police station, post office, bank) and a school with no gymnasium, the Central Gatineau Arena is one of the last remaining amenities afforded to our community because we have kept it alive. We will not give up our arena, it is too important for all ages to promote and maintain a healthy lifestyle for present and future generations. It is the backbone of our community and we must keep it to honour those who originally built it.
The arena would benefit from new LED lights for the rink surface. The lights we have our old and dim. Hydro is one of the biggest expenses for our arena and the savings would reduce costs significantly. The roof both inside and outside is in need of repairs as we have had water damage. Some other significant repairs needed are the boards. The plastic border at the ice surface needs replacing and all of our protective door pads. Our dressing rooms are in need of upgrades; new heaters, universal toilets as we only have urinals. The canteen could use some sprucing up and some new kitchen equipment to offer more food choices. Winning would reduce the amount of fundraising the arena association would have to do for yearly upkeep. The community would be able to keep the arena going for future generations to enjoy. It is the ‘only’ sports facility in our village, and it is the heart of our village, without it we will lose a part of our heritage and foundation the community was built on.
Low should be the next Hockeyville because we have shown perseverance and dedication to the sport by building our own arena and to have the one sport in our village that is truly Canadian and in our blood. We have kept the arena alive with our community spirit and caring. Low is a small community but a powerful one with a big heart and generous people. It would help to showcase our community and our talents and hopefully increase our population to bring back more services to our village. To host a pre-season game would be one of the biggest events that would live on in infamy in our community and would create a legend that everyone could tell their kids, grandkids and great grandkids. We live, eat, breath hockey in our village, as the arena has been like the central nervous system that keeps all the other appendages connected. Without the arena our village would die, as it is the heart that keeps up beating.