With handmade cutout snowflakes adorning the walls, festive music playing in the background, and a synthetic skating rink made from a high-tech plastic polymer as the main attraction, Gym C was transformed into a fun “hang-out” spot for UTM students last week.

Transforming Gym C was not an easy feat; it was made possible by the hard work of MoveU crewmembers, coordinators, and volunteers. The assembling of the synthetic ice rink and the laying-out of the black mats surrounding the perimeter took around an hour and a half. Following this, the decorations, such as the layout of the tables and chairs, took another half-hour to finish.

Held last Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Glice Rink drew 715 participants—a 14 percent increase from last year’s 626-participant turnout.

Maryanne Aliazon, a MoveU crew team leader, noted that this year’s Glice Rink (an event first held in 2012) differed in that there was a craft-making station, hot chocolate station, and movie station—Frozen was the featured film.

With free ice skates and gloves provided, the event was highly accessible to the student population. One attendee, Usman Kazmi, a first-year commerce student, attended with a group of friends. “I came here to have fun and would go again next year,” he said.

Aliazon observed that an average of 40 students dropped by every 20 minutes.

“The goal of the event, like all MoveU events, is to promote healthy active living. With the ice rink in particular, we hope to get people excited about being active during the winter months, when we all tend to become more sedentary. Being regularly active can help fight off those winter blues and help students feel and function better,” said Chad Jankowski, a health education coordinator and an organizer of the Glice Rink event.

The event certainly achieved its goal, with groups of students skating for hours on end and enjoying the refreshments set up on the side. Students also benefited from the therapeutic nature of the event, with Andy Tan, a second-year CCIT student, claiming that the event helped improve his mental wellbeing.

“The event was not only enjoyable, but it also helped me take my mind off the upcoming weeks of exam stress,” he said.

With such a high turnout this year, the Glice Rink event hopes to make a return in the years to come.

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