On Thursday, The RINK Hockey Corporation announced the purchase of Winnipeg-based NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness Incorporated. This move comes on the heels of a June 25 announcement of the purchase of the Edge of Excellence and Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, BC, thus further extending its long-term plan of athlete development within western Canada, with a primary focus on Winnipeg.
“Expanding into a second location is something we have been looking at since we started building the new RINK Training Centre,” said Brad Rice, RINK CEO in a press release. “Seven Oaks Arena is perfectly positioned on the north side of Winnipeg and offers facilities most similar to what we have built. Our goal is to build on the infrastructure here and integrate the entire hockey training experience to best match the level of service offered at the RINK Training Centre.”
This commitment to the development of hockey players in north Winnipeg, indicates the long-term blueprint of year-round hockey activity and skill development for both skaters and goaltenders living geographically distant from The RINK’s original location on 57 South Landing Drive in Oak Bluff.
These upcoming programs to be featured at ‘RINK North’ include both on and off-ice training for various age groups and skillsets. The RINK Mastery Program features science-based learning geared towards the cognitive development of young hockey minds, with personal goals and documented progression through the aid and assistance from RINK South Winnipeg and RINK North staff members and coaches.
Much like the South Winnipeg location, The RINK Testify Performance data education and sport science program will also operate out of RINK North, while the same style of physical training will continue to be offered. Led by former NRG Fitness owner Scott Miller, players will receive the same clinical treatment, health and wellness training, therapy services, regimented testing and metric-based training as they have come to know over the past 11 years.
“We’re incredibly proud of the team we have built here,” said Dr. Jeff Leiter, RINK Director of Sport Science. “By combining the ability and knowledge of our training and therapy staff at both locations we will be able to increase the level of service as a whole to our entire client base. Providing athletes of all ages and skill levels access to the resources and data they need to become the best athlete they can is at the core of what we strive to provide everyday. In addition, we will expand job opportunities, mentorship, and expertise in the fields of Kinesiology and Health Services. Given the uncertainly and financial impact of COVID-19 on the City and Province these last few months, this is a big step to rejuvenating our economy and work-force.”
Following the recommendations and guidelines set out by the federal and provincial governments, The RINK is now offering off-ice training sessions, while giving athletes access to the gym. Staff continue to monitor the health and well-being of clients, while ensuring appropriate safety measures and social distancing policies are upheld, along with appropriate sanitization of workspaces and equipment.
The recently built 103,000 square foot Seven Oaks facility features two rinks with seating up to 700, and a significant increase in energy efficiency than the standard set the in late 1990s. The $18 million project – funded by Garden City Community Centre, the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba – officially opened in the summer of 2015.