Greater Victoria arena managers ponder whether to hike standards for skating-lesson helmets
Feb 07 2012
Greater Victoria's municipal arena managers are set to discuss what kind of helmet should be allowed for skating lessons.
At a regularly scheduled meeting today, they are expected to review the City of Vancouver policy that came into effect last week.
Vancouver now demands that anyone taking skating lessons on a municipal rink wear an ice or ski helmet approved by the Canadian Standards Association. That means kids or parents with bicycle helmets are no longer allowed on the ice.
The move comes as Skate Canada also bars the use of bike helmets on hockey teams and figure skating clubs amid concern that such helmets don't adequately protect skaters who fall backward.
Bike helmets, and other types of helmets, are still allowed on Greater Victoria rinks during skating lessons.
It's been roughly three years since people were required to wear a helmet at all in Saanich's Pearkes Recreation Centre, manager Clayton Postings said.
"The first step was to get everyone wearing helmets. The next step ... is to say this is the proper type of helmet that's expected to be worn," he said.
"Bicycle helmets are better than not wearing anything."
Skate Canada's ruling on bike helmets is not binding on municipalities. However, Richmond and Burnaby have also followed suit for safety reasons.
Vancouver spent $12,000 to add an additional 30 CSA-approved helmets at each rink, which can be lent free of charge to users.
Geoff Welham, arena and events co-ordinator for the West Shore Parks & Recreation Society, said the issue of CSA-certified helmets has come up before. He said any changes would require a balance between turning away people because they have the wrong helmet and wanting people to be safe while on the ice.
— With files from Postmedia News