Saturday, April 6, 2013

My First Winter

This is my first winter in Toronto, which isn’t quite as cold as the winter in my hometown, I don’t worry as much about what I wear since it sometimes gets too hot for me. What I do dislike about the winter is that it is so slippery, making me fall over up to three times in a single morning. Sometimes, it is worse when it is really wet!

However, winter does not feel as bad because I get to enjoy winter activities with Wintegration.
"I really want to thank all of Dufferin's skating workers!" ~Tenzin Duedhul

Wintegration is an after-school program run by CultureLink’s Newcomer Youth Centre (NYC) for newcomer youths. The name “Wintegration” is made up of the words, “winter” and “integration”. As the program is focused on healthy lifestyle, nutrition and sports, some of the physical activities we get to enjoy are winter sports. Ice-skating and skiing, of course, are some of the activities we get to take part in in the program.

I like ice-skating, which is something I wished I could pick up since I was as kid. Every Wednesday afternoon during winter, Wintegration Program participants get to enjoy free ice-skating sessions in Dufferin Grove Park, for two hours, thanks to CultureLink’s partnership with the kind folks at Dufferin Grove. You can read more about the Dufferin Rink Diaries here.

I am still learning how to skate properly, and it is not so easy to learn this new skill, especially when you keep falling over again and again. However, I am finding that learning, in itself, is a fun thing, and can be an experience filled with satisfaction. Given this opportunity to practice at the rink weekly, I am improving my skill very quickly!

"I am improving my skill very quickly" ~Richard Ren
This is a wonderful experience for me because being a part of the Wintegration program lets me participate in the activities free of charge. We do not have to pay for the skate rental, and even TTC tickets are provided for us to go back home!

I had also always wanted to learn skiing, and so I was very excited to hear that Wintegration participants were going to go skiing at Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre for free! It was a pity my parents didn’t allow me to go this year. I hope I get another chance to go next time round!
"We will have the same fun experience next winter!" ~Richard Ren

Back at Dufferin Grove Park, the ice has already started melting, and the rink will be changed back into a basketball court soon. However, I believe we will have the same fun experience next winter!

Written by: Richard Ren
Edited by: Lynda Young

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