Dozens of Highlands youth had an opportunity to skate with some of their local hockey heroes Feb. 5 as several Haliburton County Huskies attended the grand opening of the new Harcourt outdoor rink.

The likes of Marco Iozzo, Alex Cunningham, Leo Serlin and Josh Sordo, among others, led a series of skill sessions for youth in the afternoon before participating in an open skate.

Head coach and general manager Ryan Ramsay said the players had a great time at the event. He noted it was important that the organization, and its players, give back to the community when it can.

“While one of our main focuses is hockey, another is building character and making sure our players get involved in different events, because this community has been extremely welcoming and supportive of us,” Ramsay told The Highlander last fall.

“I think it’s good for our players to have a presence, and be positive role models for our youth,” he added.

The new rink, located beside the Harcourt Community Centre on Midway Road, is open daily, weather permitting. According to Andrea Mueller, Dysart et al recreational coordinator, there is a timer located on the light post at the rink that can be turned on to provide lighting in the evening.

In the warmer months, the space will be used for pickleball, basketball and ball hockey.

MP Jamie Schmale, MPP Laurie Scott and Dysart deputy mayor Walt McKechnie were in attendance for a ribbon cutting ceremony, while volunteers from the Harcourt Ladies Committee were on hand to serve hot chocolate, tea, coffee, and chili.

Mueller said the rink was funded by a $162,000 provincial grant, with half going towards construction of the Harcourt facility, and half paying for the installation of a similar outdoor rink in West Guilford. She noted that project will begin this spring.