Northwest NEWS

July 3, 2000

Sports

Rock, hip-hop and roll in new roller hockey arena

by Bronwyn Wilson, senior staff reporter

   Kids, moms, and dads, lace up your skates and get ready to roll. On July 8-9, the Hockey Gardens, a fun roller rink arena, welcomes skaters to its grand opening with banners, contests, and giveaways.

   The regulation-size roller rink, formerly known as The Playground, is located next to Cedar Brook Sauna and Steam on SR-9 in Woodinville. Tim Oshie, founder and director, says the arena is primarily based for roller hockey, but Saturday and Sunday rollerblading sessions are in the works.

   "There's not a lot of places for kids to go and do things. There's a lot of kids rollerblading and no organized structure," Oshie said. But now there is, and Oshie, who has worked with kids at Boys and Girls Clubs, explained that The Gardens is a kid's place, although there will be a lot of adult things, too. For example, the roller hockey rink will offer a six-week clinic series this summer for kids to adults. Also for grown-ups, oldies tunes will be added to the arena's music repertoire. And of course for the kids, "cooler" music, such as hip-hop, will be offered, accompanied by lights.

   The rink will feature special events, drop-in inline skate sessions, drop-in hockey formats, and summer day camps which will include instruction, skill development, and lots of fun activities. Add to this, inline hockey leagues, tournaments, and learn to play hockey and learn to skate classes. And should anyone want to blow out their birthday candles while rolling on rollerblade wheels, the arena is available for birthday parties.

   The original founder of Seattle Inline Arena on Harbor Island, Tim Oshie ran hockey leagues from 1996 to late 1997 at the old Queen Anne High School. "There's definitely a need for roller hockey and being outdoors," he said. He also announced that The Gardens will be the official training center for the Washington Junior Stars.

   Currently undergoing capital improvements, the roller arena will have a full service concession/pro shop on site. Hockey items such as bearings, wheels, mouthguards, sticks, and tape, will be on sale. Skate rentals will also be available.

   Leagues begin the week of July 17, 2000. Camp dates will be held on July 17-21 and August 7-11. The cost for a seven-week summer league is $90 plus $25 for USA Hockey Inline membership, which every hockey player is required to have. The cost for drop-in sessions is $5. The Seattle Meltdown Tournament Hockey series will take place July 21-23 and Aug. 11-13. Entry fee is $300 per team.

   For further information, call 425-290-8966 or 425-652-6742. Also, you can visit the website at www.oshiesports.com.