As soon as Imran Ali said he heard “arctic” winds in the forecast for the week, he knew it would be the right time to build an ice rink in the backyard for his children.
This is the third time Ali has set up a rink for his son, Zakariya, 6, and daughter Layla, 8.
“I never grew up with it — a backyard rink,” Ali said. “I just thought I might give it a shot (the first time), and it worked out.”
Ali, his wife Aabida, and their two children are temporarily living in Whalley with Ali’s parents after selling their place in Aldergrove. This is the first time he’s built the rink in this backyard, he said.
“I thought I might as well try it out here and it worked. It was cold enough,” said Ali, adding that it is partially shaded by hedges.
The 16-foot by 16-foot rink, Ali said, only takes about five hours to build and set up.
“It’s been so cold. I started last Sunday, and by Tuesday after school, they were skating.”
While Layla and Zakariya don’t play organized hockey, Ali said the kids love getting out in the backyard and skating on the rink.
“But for the last three years, as soon as winter comes around, they’re outside playing ice hockey as soon as I make them a rink.”
For Zakariya, he said his favourite part of the rink is getting to play hockey, while Layla said she just enjoys skating on the rink.