Brock community enjoys free skating and charity event at Meridian Centre

Students enjoying a free skate / Alena Kondratieva


The winter season coinciding with the second semester of the school year can be a tough one for many Brock students. It’s cold outside, the weather is gloomy and the school work is one again beginning to pile up again.

It’s no wonder that there are actually conditions, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), to describe how moods can change depending on weather.

Despite the current rainy and cold weather, Brock’s Student Life and Community Experience department partnered with Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) to offer students, staff and faculty a free indoor skating event in hopes of providing an afternoon that can help students relax and take their mind off of the dreary winter conditions and stressful university commitments.

“This date was chosen specifically because it’s just after holidays and frost week has come and gone,” said Natalie Pagnotta, who works for Student Life and Community Experience. “Student’s holiday bills are coming due, and the first full week of school has just finished. We wanted to host a fun and free event for students to blow off some steam, and what better than ice skating?”

“Part of this event was also to help integrate students into the community,” said Pagnotta. “We organized the event in the heart of downtown St. Catharines so that students could take part in the local culture.”

Students had the opportunity to skate with their friends and mingle with other students while on the rink. The only catch was that students had to bring their own skates.

In addition to the free skating offered to students, BUSU and Student Life also planned a charity sock toss that occurred on the ice during the event.

“The idea of the sock toss is to give back to the community that we live in,” said Samantha Sewell, the Off-Campus Living Coordinator for Student Life and Community Experience. “There’s a significant amount of people living in poverty in our community and it’s important to help in any way we can as students.”

Pagnotta stated that their reasoning for donating socks rather than food was because they wanted to provide the community with something that they aren’t provided with as often.

“Warmth is an extremely important factor during the winter months,” said Pagnotta.

For the charity sock toss, all students in attendance were provided with socks to toss, free of charge. The sock toss offered free Niagara River Lions tickets for the person who tossed the sock closest to the center of the skating rink, making it both a fun and charitable activity for students to partake in.

280 pairs of socks were donated to Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold, a local service which provides assistance to those that are less advantaged in the community. They offer support ranging from food, shelter, security, emergency services, and warm clothes.

“The reason that we partnered with Community Care is because we wanted to really drive the idea that this event was done by students, for students, and with Niagara, for Niagara,” said Pagnotta.


To learn more about upcoming events, please visit

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