The Palouse Ice Rink opened in 2002 and for 15 years has provided our community a friendly atmosphere where children and adults can participate in a wide range of icerelated recreational activities. The current rink was intended as a temporary facility to establish whether enough demand existed on the Palouse for one to operate successfully. After 16 seasons and thousands of smiles later, the PIR Board is targeting building a permanent structure rink in the spring of 2019.
Programs Offered During the 2016-17 Season
210 girls and boys from ages 5-18 participated on teams offered by the Palouse Youth Hockey Association (PYHA) and Polar Bears. Youth hockey was given priority of ice time Monday through Saturday for practices and games; scholarships were available for families in need of financial help.
Science on Ice
Over 500 fifth graders from Idaho and Washington participated this past year. Eighteen volunteers, including 6 with a PhD, 8 with a college degree and 4 University of Idaho students provided instruction.
We had open sessions for all ages with skate rental available. This environment gave patrons the opportunity for exercise without the athletic demands of an organized sport. Children especially enjoyed skating during the winter, when playing outside was not always an option. Birthday parties were a very popular activity as well. Special sessions were available weekdays for home-school students.
Figure Skating/Learn to Skate
70 children participated in the program. Due to the small size of our current rink it has been difficult to keep coaches in the area. In addition, figure skating requires a full-sized rink to perform routines beyond the beginner level.
Businesses, nonprofit organizations and college living groups rented our facility for one to two hours. Both UI women’s and men’s club hockey teams practiced at PIR.
Adult hockey and Curling
Adult programs help generate revenue for the rink, but time availability was restricted to ensure youth programs were given first preference.