Playing hockey with the boys in her hometown of Lumby for nearly a decade, Angie Clowry used to change for games in the women’s washroom at the Pat Duke Memorial Arena.
Clowry, a driving force behind Lumby being named Kraft Hockeyville in 2016, is excited that renovations to the Pat Duke Arena to include more change rooms for female players will soon be starting.
“As a gal who played Lumby Minor Hockey for nine years with the boys and changed in the ladies washroom for a few of those, I get it,” said Clowry. “But that is changing and I’m so grateful to see so many more young ladies killing it out there on the ice. In fact, some are leading their teams.”
The venerable arena is getting an upgrade in order to better serve an increasing number of female participants in hockey and other ice sports.
As part of a community effort that began in 2016, residents and users came together and initiated fundraising to improve amenities in the arena. As a result of these efforts, the Pat Duke Arena won Kraft Hockeyville 2016, receiving $100,000 to put towards improving the facility.
“Due to an insufficient number of change rooms, female ice users have had inadequate facilities during co-ed ice times,” said Tannis Nelson, RDNO community services manager. “The arena also creates challenges for users with mobility issues, and due to its age, no longer meets accessibility standards.”
The Regional District of North Okanagan has held several meetings with stakeholders and users of the arena, and are currently finalizing the draft concept plan and costing for renovations and construction. Once complete, the concepts will be brought forward to the community through an open house anticipated to be scheduled in February.
“The objective of this project is to achieve four new change rooms through expansion and renovation of the existing building, and two additional change rooms through renovation of the existing change room area,” said Nelson. “The project also includes additional storage, upgraded referee facilities, and a heated lobby and viewing area.”
Said Clowry: “I’m super excited and honoured to be a part of this process. Having our ideas come to fruition with the help of RDNO and MQN Architects is an amazing experience. Many of our friends and family are invested because they voted alongside us for Lumby’s Hockeyville win. We all are wanting it to hurry up but there is a process to follow and we are on it.”
RDNO community services general manager Mike Fox said the Pat Duke Memorial Arena is a cherished facility in Lumby and its surrounding area.
“The Regional District of North Okanagan looks forward to the completion of this project, and an increased enjoyment of the facility from users and residents alike,” said Fox.