Save Our Rink

Last Monday, I wrote a post about a stenciled and chalk-painted scoreboard that I had built for the Roller Hockey Club at Virginia Tech (RCHVT).  My brother, who is in charge of RHCVT, was thrilled with the result.

We have since learned that Virginia Tech is planning to build a $20 million football practice facility on campus, but those efforts are being discouraged due to the fact that the the location of the build site, Stadium Woods, is the home of numerous 300-year-old white oak trees. This has caused quite a stir at Virginia Tech, and thousands of environmentalists and students alike are petitioning that the football practice facility be constructed elsewhere.  There’s even been a Washington Post article about this, located here

Our concerns are that if the football practice facility is not built in the disputed portion of Stadium Woods, the most likely option would be to build it on the land currently occupied by the neighboring tennis courts and RHCVT’s roller hockey rink.

Truth is, this is not the first time that RHCVT’s rink has been in jeopardy.

During my spring 2008 semester at Virginia Tech, the 85 members of RCHVT and I watched as our roller hockey rink was torn down to make way for the Hahn Hurst Basketball Practice Center. While we were promised a replacement space, it took nearly four years of my brother petitioning and meeting with members of the Virginia Tech Recreational Sports Department to finally secure a new space. For many of my teammates, including myself, the delays and red tape associated with establishing a new rink meant the end of roller hockey during their undergraduate and/or graduate years at Virginia Tech.

In the time that we were without a rink, my brother and I coordinated a fundraising campaign in hope to purchase new roller hockey boards and equipment for the promised rink space. In total, RHCVT raised more than $12,000 for this effort.

In October 2011, after four years of no roller hockey at Virginia Tech, Rovito Rink was finally built on the leftover construction pad between the tennis courts and the new Hahn Hurst Basketball Practice Center. Using the money from the fundraising effort, my brother and the remaining RHCVT members bought and installed roller hockey boards, two new goals, netting, and a storage shed onto the rink. A registration, draft, and rules were established, and a successful fall 2011 season featuring 87 hockey players divided between eight teams was played.  RHCVT’s current Spring 2011 season encompasses 110 players and 10 teams. RHCVT has since gained a popular following, has an official Facebook page and a website, and was even featured in the Roanoke Times.

After learning about the Stadium Woods conflict, RHCVT launched an online petition to save its rink.  We are not advocating whether or not the new football practice facility should be built in Stadium Woods; instead, our primary concern lies on the future of RHCVT, and are doing everything we can to encourage the Virginia Tech Athletic Department to build the football facility elsewhere. If that cannot be arranged, then we are asking that another roller hockey rink is constructed on separate location of Virginia Tech’s campus, and before the demolition of Rovito Rink occurs.

For me, it would be heartbreaking to see the RCHVT’s roller hockey rink torn down a second time, especially if Virginia Tech does not provide us with another rink space.  On an even more personal level, I know it would be devastating to my brother, Cory, who has put so much time and effort into keeping hockey in place at Virginia Tech.

So, if you have a minute, it would mean the world to me if you took the time to sign RHCVT’s petition.  The link for the petition is below:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-virginia-tech-roller-hockey-rink-and-tennis/

Thank you for all of your help and support.  Your daily encouragement and positive thinking is truly inspirational.

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