After hearing a new multiplex in La Ronge could be as near as five years away before construction began, I was a little surprised to find this statement on the introduction to a survey about such a facility on the Town of La Ronge website:

The life expectancy of Recreation & Leisure facilities are approximately 40-50 years. The Mel Hegland Uniplex was built in 1977 therefore the life expectancy is reaching its end. The Town of La Ronge will produce a feasibility study to build a New Multipurpose Recreation & Leisure facility in the Town of La Ronge. This will be a 10-20 year project; to begin we would like to poll our community members regarding a new facility such as this. Please let us know how your opinion.  

Ten to twenty years... not what many in La Ronge were hoping for.  For me, the rink (though a driving force for my interest) comes secondary to the theoretical walking track and swimming pool that would come along with a multiplex.  My personal opinion is the town is in dire need of the pool facility, closely followed by the indoor track.

So what's in the survey?

1. Age Group?
2. Rent/Own in which community?
3. Will you use a new facility?
4.  Will you help fund raise? (Also asks for contact info if yes)
5. Willing to allocate some of your taxes to new facility?
6. What percentage of that?
7.  Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: My taxing authority/municipality should raise property taxes to build a new Recreation & Leisure Multipurpose facility.
8. Are you willing to pay user fees?
9. What would you be willing to see in the facility?
Rate (1-low, 5-high) Swimming Pool, Rink (Hockey/Curling), track, fitness centre, conference centre, field house

The results will be posted in March.  The survey deadline is February 29th. You can take the survey at the town website:

Obviously the ten to twenty year timeline is the eye-popper of the whole thing.  I think most would agree that the Mel, despite being only thirty years old, is pretty much at the end of its life, not nearing.  It won't match the 40-50 year life expectancy because its construction wasn't meant to deal with the traffic and use that it sees.

I will be contacting the town to find out more about the project, which at the very least, seems to be taking steps forward (if a little slowly).  


I spoke with Mayor Thomas Sierzycki this afternoon about the project and survey.  It was pretty positive as he mentioned the 10-20 year number is to stay away from overly ambitious goals.  They're definitely looking towards the lower end of that spectrum.  If things fall into place properly, I get the impression it can move quicker.

They are battling some issues including low census numbers that can delay the project.  You can listen to my full interview with Mayor Sierzycki Monday night when the Ice Wolves take on the Bombers in Game Three of the Survivor Series on MBC Radio.

So far there are only around 300 respondents to the survey, and the town is hoping for many more, so like commenter Northern Boy says, head over to the town site and take the survey.

A recent poll done by Ipsos Reid shows 46% of Saskatchewan residents feel their local hockey rinks/arenas are in need of repairs with bleachers being one of the main concerns.  With numbers like that, you would think communities would jump on the chance to win $100,000 dollars and runner up sums of $25,000.  

The winning community also hosts an NHL pre-season game and Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.  However, a quick scan of CBC and Kraft's Hockeyville competition website shows only ten communities have completed entries, with sixteen still awaiting completion.  It doesn't take a big effort to include your town, I got La Ronge's Mel Heglund Uniplex entered in about 15 minutes.  All you have to do is upload a picture and write a quick story.

Clearly, to win it takes considerably more work.  With time winding down until the deadline for entries communities who don't have a head start will be hard pressed to succeed, but it's far from impossible.  Some creativity over the weekend can go a long way in helping a community on to the next stage.  Phoenix Coyotes Captain Shane Doan is the 2012 NHL Ambassador for the competition.  He feels it should be a no brainer for communities to get in on the action.  "As a community, the prize is so much and the application is so simple," says Doan, "It's such an opportunity to just get the chance to really improve the centre of your town, of your community, of your city and your area."

Doan took the time Thursday to talk about the importance of Minor hockey in his life and what the money from an application could go towards.   

Yes at some point I do plan on writing about sports on the sports blog.  However, the flooding in the North is taking centre stage these days.  Here are some more pictures from my latest excursion to the Montreal River crossing and Riverside Motel (just down the road).
After the break, there are a couple of videos I posted to my new Youtube Channel.
Sorry for the wind noise in the video it was... well, windy.

Listen to MBC News @ 4:00 and 5:00 for the latest.

If you're looking for something to do on your week night's in La Ronge, Churchill Community High School's Summer Programming is getting into gear.

Here are the sports you can take part in nightly:

2011 Summer Programming


Volleyball                  Monday’s                 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Floor Hockey           Tuesday’s                 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Basketball                 Wednesday’s           7:00-9:00 p.m.


Weight Room          Monday-Friday       1:00-5:00 p.m.                                 


Flag Football            Monday’s                 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Indoor Soccer         Tuesday’s                 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Basketball                 Wednesday’s           7:00-9:00 p.m.
It's a great way to get active and if you come see basketball, you can come see me miss repeatedly from my maximum range of about six inches from the rim. Not an overly pretty sight, but funny nonetheless.  One of these day's I'm going to finally figure out my dunking and that'll be taken care of.  Until then though, the bad rim outs will continue, but I digress.

I've been playing basketball at Churchill for a couple months now, it's a lot of fun, there's a great group of people that come out to play and I'm sure it'll be the same for any other sports.  I finally brought my hockey stick up to La Ronge, so I may have to play some floor hockey starting Tuesday.

Another great option is the Kikinahk Friendship Centre.  I don't have their summer program listing, but I know they have basketball on Tuesday's, because I take my amazingly low shooting percentage there as well.

Hope I see you out one of these nights!