New Zambonis encourage young children to get out on the ice

By Taylor McClure – Special to Brome County News

The Town of Brome Lake has received five Zamboni-like walkers to help young children learn to skate at Douglass Beach thanks to a donation from Cogeco Connexion, an internet, television, and telephone provider that has recently made its way to Brome Lake and is looking to establish a relationship with the new community it serves. With cross-country skis and kick sleds already available at Douglass Beach, the donation has added to the recreational offerings for Brome Lake citizens.

“They called me before Christmas break and wanted to know if I was interested in having some mini Zambonis,” said Martin Lussier, director of the Recreation, Tourism, Culture and Community Life Department for Brome Lake. “They started a program by themselves and they looked at our area and our beach. They said that we already had equipment location rentals so they asked if I was interested in having the Zambonis to offer to kids for free and that’s how it all started.”

“We chose Lac-Brome because it’s a new territory, with the purchase of Internexe, and a relationship with the community is part of our values at Cogeco. We thought the Zambonis would be perfect for this sector because the beach is popular for families and children,” said Martine Bédard, integration specialist for Cogeco.

With its new presence in Brome Lake, Bédard emphasized that Cogeco hopes to have a good relationship with communities throughout Quebec and to help them in the ways that it can. “Organizations can reach out to Cogeco and we can see what we can do with them if they have certain needs and are implicated in the community,” added Bédard.

Accepting the donation was a no-brainer for the town. “We are always trying to find something new to offer. We started three years ago by having kick sleds, a year later we added cross country skis, and last year we bought skates,” noted Lussier. “Each year we find something new to offer to the community for them to go outside and to enjoy our beautiful area.”

Lussier said that the call was perfect timing. “Having skates for kids and adults is fun, but we didn’t have any stands so when they called I said yes because we were already looking for that, so it was a perfect fit for us,” he said.

The Zambonis are meant to serve as stands to help young children that are just getting out on the ice. “They stand next to the mini Zamboni and they can skate so it’s just a little support for the kids. Usually when you go to a rink it’s just a normal chair,” explained Lussier.

The five mini Zambonis will be available to use for free, subject to availability, and they are located at the entrance of Douglass Beach.

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