Six and half years ago, a group of parents first brought hockey to Brandon, SD. They worked with the city, raised funds, pitched in much of their own money and an abundance of their own labor to build an outdoor hockey rink. There were only about 15 players on the team that very first year.
Since then, our membership has doubled almost every year to just over 120 youth members. To keep up with demand, this past season we built a second outdoor refrigerated hockey rink. For most of our parents, it seems like we have been living at the rink with all of the construction, maintenance and practices... but the dedication is worth it!
Although we LOVE playing hockey outdoors, we have a problem. Conditions outdoors are not always ideal. Sub-zero wind chills and heavy snows make it challenging to have practices and games consistently and sometimes we even have to cancel our activities. Our used refrigeration system is quite old and has been inefficient and unreliable.
The solution to our problem is a community indoor ice facility. This facility will give us a much needed home protected from the elements and the means to continue growing. We have been working hard to make this dream a reality.
You might not be aware that ice hockey is unique from many other sports. You see, having the ability to ice skate is THE ONE skill needed to play & be competitive. Many other sports are based upon the ability to run or move your legs. This is a skill almost all of us learn when we are very young and it can be done just about anywhere, inside or outside. Being able to ice skate well--and improve that skill--requires numerous hours of consistent practice on the ice.
Building an ice rink is not cheap. We do hold fundraising events throughout the year; however, the majority of these funds are used to operate our association. We are a creative bunch and have had some unique ideas to raise funds. For example, who would think you could raise money from poop? That’s right. Our kids pick up poop! Each spring, our parents and kids clean up dog waste in yards after the long winter. We have dubbed this fundraiser “Yucky Puck”. Surprisingly, it goes over well and we get requests each year to continue this fundraiser. So we do!
South Dakota isn't a hotbed for hockey just yet and our town has essentially no history in hockey, but this close knit 'family' in Brandon has laid a strong foundation. We will spread the hockey spirit in our town and region. We will continue to introduce people to this sport and provide them the opportunity to get a taste of the enjoyment that hockey brings all of us. This is just the beginning for hockey in Brandon. There are great things in store for us. Want to join us?
The "Dream" That Started It All
Try Hockey for Free
Our mascot, SlapShot
Outdoor Mite Game
Sometimes it's too warm & the ice melts
SD winters can be pretty darn cold