A seal named Bobby will help kids learn to skate at Langley’s George Preston Recreation Centre.
Bobby is a plastic skating aid that young, novice skaters can sit on or hold while learning to move around on slippery ice surfaces.
Bobby’s tail serves as a handle for adults to push and hold onto.
“The Bobby the Seal skating buddies are taking the rink by storm,” said Keith Holloway, acting recreation centre supervisor at George Preston. “It’s a fun way to get people out on the ice, keep them active, and build confidence. They are great for all skaters of any age, as you can sit on them and be pushed, or use them as a traditional skating aid.”
Township staff purchased ten of the seals in December of 2016, and started renting them out in January this year. Since then, the Bobbies have been in great demand by the public, who can rent them from the skate shop at a cost of $1 per half hour. They are also used during Learn to Skate sessions at George Preston.
“We have had lots of interest in them during our programs,” Holloway said. He noted the seals are a safer alternative to traditionally-shaped plastic skate aids, which people sometimes flip over and push their kids on – a practice that is not allowed, as it could result in injury.