Letter from Belmontian:
My name is Emily McCafferty and I live at 45 Middlecot Street with my husband and two children ages, 10 and 8. We have resided in Belmont since 2017 and my husband and I grew up next door in Lexington.
I am writing to you today concerning the Belmont ice rink. I’m certain you have seen a few yes4rink signs around town. Please believe me when I tell you that it is for good reason! I have spent my entire life in hockey rinks, and I have been coaching youth hockey here in Belmont for 5 years. I am not exaggerating when I say the Viglirolo Ice Rink is in shambles.
I started skating very young and started playing hockey in 1992, first joining the youth program in Lexington, then Assabet Valley and the Lexington High team from 1998 -2001. I then went on to play at Providence College for four years, so I have been in quite a few rinks. In all my years of playing hockey and now coaching, I can say with the utmost confidence that Belmont was and continues to rank as the worst rink I’ve played/coached in. As a player back in the 90’s, girls hockey was still new and being a stronger skater on the team I would play most of the game. When playing in Belmont, my toes would stay frozen for the entire 60 minutes. My mother couldn’t make it the entire game back then and even my father, a hardened Canadian would complain about the conditions at the Belmont rink.
In 2018, when I walked into the rink after 17 years and stepped on the ice to help with Learn to Play, I couldn’t believe that nothing about the rink had changed, other than some further decay. It was originally built as an outdoor ice surface and then “enclosed” in the late 70’s. I use enclosed loosely as many birds use the rink as a giant birdhouse, coming and going as they please. Their droppings are all over the bleachers and last season, a coach had to remove a dead bird from the ice before practice could start. The ceiling insulation falls onto the ice and I’ve had some sort of liquid drop on my helmet or jacket numerous times. Kids skate up to us all the time and tell us they are freezing and we know they are not lying as no amount of layers or hand/feet warmers make a difference! Obviously, a hockey rink needs to be cold, but our rink somehow remains colder than the outside temperatures on the coldest days, and if we do happen to get a warmer day during the season then the entire ice surface fogs up making it impossible for spectators and difficult on the players.
The bottom line is that the rink was well beyond its years in the 80’s, but now it is condemnable and flat out unsafe. Our youth deserve a clean and safe building in their own hometown!
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Please consider voting yes4rink on November 8th!