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Yes on Question 1, The Rink


By : Cece Carere and Captians of the BHS Hockey Teams

The Belmont rink has been infamous for as long as I have skated there. When I was in Kindergarten doing the Learn to Skate program, pieces of insulation would fall from the ceiling and become stuck in the ice. Later, when I joined the under-8 team, I would hear girls from other teams joke about the rink as they arrived. This year, as a Captain of the varsity high school team, my teammates and I woke up before 4:00 am for 5:00 am practices in Watertown on school days because the ice in Belmont hadn’t frozen.

I could list many more things that are wrong with the rink, but truthfully, anyone who has stepped inside is already aware of the state it is in. Instead, I would like to highlight its importance as a community center and as something that has shaped the growth of many local kids who use it.

When I think of the Learn to Skate program, I remember the sheer joy of playing freeze tag, dodging pucks, and racing my friends. Since then, along with many of my teammates, I have gone back to Learn to Skate as a volunteer. Getting to know the younger skaters and helping them progress has been indescribably rewarding. I am so grateful to be able to help give them the same fond memories that I have of the program.

Additionally, my brothers and I have taken part in the S.P.O.R.T. (Special Programs Organized for Recreation Time) program that the rink hosts. There, we got to know skaters with special needs. We offered skating tips, talked about school, and made great friends. It was an enjoyable and meaningful way for all of us to share our passion for hockey.

High school hockey has been the most demanding and rewarding program I have been a part of. Everyone on both the girls’ and boys’ teams worked hard, and we celebrated our losses and wins together. Both teams reached the playoffs this year, beating top-ranked teams in the state to get there. Additionally, this year, girls’ varsity Captain Bridget Gray surpassed 2000 saves in her career as a goalie and played on the U19 All Star team, along with fellow Captain Lily Duffy. On the boys’ side, varsity Captains Cam Fici and Peter Grace played for the boys’ U19 All Star team. The talent and hard work on both teams is undeniable. I have met many new freshmen and eighth graders that I believe will enhance each team immensely going forward, and I truly hope they have the opportunity to do so.

However, playing for the high school has meant more than just wins and losses. Both teams have played games to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, sporting pink gear made by local sportswear store Champions. Additionally, senior Captain Lily Duffy organized a Morgan’s Message game for the girl’s team. As a representative of the Foundation, she gave a speech about the importance of athletes’ mental health. I believe that hockey is a uniquely powerful tool to unite our community. Previously, the girls’ team played a game to support the family of Cleo Theodropulos, a girl many team members were close with whose sudden passing deeply saddened the Belmont community.

Unfortunately, we will not have a rink to play at for much longer. Existing refrigerating equipment is broken beyond repair, and if hockey and skating programs exist next year, they will have to rent ice time at other rinks. Not only will this be inconvenient, but it will be extremely costly. If the skating programs cannot raise enough funding on their own, then they will be eliminated.

Proponents of the new rink have made plans that minimize costs and maximize rink utility. For a $170/year tax increase for each Belmont citizen, the new rink would serve numerous functions. The new rink would be able to remain functional year-round, opening up summer skating camps as a source of revenue to help the rink pay for itself. It would also include locker rooms for athletes who play numerous sports to make up for those lost in the coming demolition of the fieldhouse.


Beyond the facts and figures, we cannot minimize the rink’s importance as a community center. The impact it has had on children, skaters with special needs, athletes, adult skaters, and elderly skaters in our community cannot be overstated. Through the 12 years I have skated, I have learned invaluable compassion, discipline, and communication skills and forged lifelong bonds with teammates and coaches.

I hope that you will vote yes on Question one, to allow others to have the same opportunities I did, as well as preserve the rink as a community center for people of all backgrounds.


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