Sport and recreation play a vital role in
community life in Prince Edward Island. Whether the
community is large or small, community councils across
the Island have recreation departments and, often,
full-time recreation directors on staff. Many communities
enjoy recreational sports leagues and clubs, most
frequently in the following activities: minor softball;
soccer; figure skating; and minor, recreational, and
After the Church, the local rink and recreation centre is
the favourite public building in Island communities.
Indeed, Islanders have been heard to boast that we have
the largest number per capita of hockey rinks in the
world. And everyone knows that the rinks canteens
supply the best hot chocolate to be found in the
residents take great pride in their Community Gardens,
site of the most important annual events. The arena is a
non-profit organization operated by the Kensington Area
Recreation Association (KARA), promoter of sport in
Kensington. The Community Gardens arena employs seven
staff members during the peak winter periods. In the
midst of this hectic winter season, from early October
until April, the arena averages more than 65 prime-time
hours of ice-rental.
The Kensington Area Minor Hockey Council and Kensington
Area Figure Skating Club are the most active users of the
arena. Together, these two organizations keep Kensington
residents on their skates for six months of the year. In
addition to their regular schedule of games, practices
and lessons, these two clubs play host to figure skating
competitions, ice shows, and hockey tournaments that
become focal activities enjoyed by the whole community.
In February of each year, the Kensington, Prince Edward
Island-Bedford, Quebec, Peewee Friendship Hockey Exchange
is one of the most anticipated events in the community.
The Kensington Granites senior hockey team and the North
Shore Recreational Hockey League also attract hockey fans
from across Prince Edward Island to the Community
Gardens. The remainder of ice time at the arena is
devoted to old-timers hockey, pre-school skates, adult
skates, shinny hockey, and school skates.
The arena also plays host to diverse events in spring and
summer: auctions, ice-cream socials, dog shows, and
concerts. Of these activities, the most important is the
annual Community Harvest Festival; a week-long
celebration held every August. Surrounding softball
fields are also a community focal point, site of league
games and practices as well as casual gatherings of a few
friends for an impromptu run around the bases.
Many active sports in Prince Edward Island are supported
by provincial associations that promote their activities.
For the most part, these organizations exist largely
thanks to volunteer efforts. Island sports associations
represent sports that include alpine skiing, badminton,
baseball, basketball, biathlon, billiards, bowling,
boxing, curling, cycling, fencing, field hockey, figure
skating, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, horse
riding, judo, karate, lawn bowling, racquetball,
ringette, rugby, shooting, snooker, soccer, softball,
special Olympics, speed skating, squash, swimming,
synchronized swimming, table tennis, tae kwon do, tennis,
track and field, volleyball, windsurfing, and wrestling.
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