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Bike helmets to be banned from skating lessons at Burnaby ice rinks

Alicia Myton, a public skating patroller at Copeland Arena, with the three types of helmets approved for use on the ice. - MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER
Alicia Myton, a public skating patroller at Copeland Arena, with the three types of helmets approved for use on the ice.
— image credit: MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER

Bicycle helmets will soon be banned from skating lessons at Burnaby city rinks.

The move follows a similar decision last summer by Skate Canada, said Wendy Scott, Burnaby's assistant director of recreation.

The city doesn't run Skate Canada's CanSkate learn-to-skate program, said Scott, "but we felt for safety reasons we should ask for the same thing.

"When a body like that makes a decision we look at it pretty seriously."

Effective Jan. 1, only helmets CSA-approved for ice and snow sports, such as hockey and snowboarding, will be allowed. Helmets are mandatory for all city-run skating lessons.

The concern is bike helmets don't cover enough of the back of the head due to people's tendency to fall forward on a bicycle, she said.

In contrast, on the ice, most of the time people fall backwards, something hockey and snowboarding helmets are designed to protect against.

From January to April, helmet rentals will be free at the city's Bill Copeland and Kensington arenas, said Scott, noting that helmet rentals are always free when people rent skates.

For people wanting to buy the appropriate helmets, city staff have also negotiated discounts with local sports gear shops, who will also help fit the helmets properly, she said.

When customers show a current registration receipt from the City of Burnaby for skating lessons, they can get 15 per cent off a helmet at the Metrotown location of Sport Chek and Larry's Hockey Shop (North Vancouver) and 20 per cent off a Bauer 2100 helmet from Scoff’s Hockey Shop in North Burnaby.

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