You’ve got a record number of African American
You’ve got 10 black athletes competing in this year’s Olympics. When you see speedskating on television it
seems so far away, it seems like something that’s impossible for you to to be able do
but with Fort Dupont Ice Arena right here in the community, they can come in, they can
learn to skate and they can advance to speed skating and learn something that they may
not pick up anywhere else. It’s one of the few ice skating rinks in America
that’s actually centrally located in an African American neighborhood. They give the kids and the parents the taste
of winter sport, the taste of skating, the taste of hockey. Fort Dupont Ice Arena is the only full sized
indoor ice rink in Washington, D.C. We put 2500 kids on the ice over each year
through our kids on ice programs. I know what it’s like to be a young girl,
young minority girl and it just gives you a place where you feel like you can fit in
and you feel like you’re important and you’re special and you’re strong. We’re a true melting pot of the city, we have
kids from all 8 wards. There’s not too many places where you find
families of different races, different religions, different economic and social standings sitting
in the stands watching their kids participate on the ice at the same time. We provide the skates, the lessons, the ice
time the equipment, taking them over to competition and waiving those fees for them, it really
just gives everyone a fair chance. There are impediments to playing this sport. Yeah, cost is an impediment, but so is the
lack of understanding that we are involved in the sport, that it’s okay to play these
sports. That you will not be any less of a Hispanic
person or a black person if you pursue this sport. With this rink, it’s not unusual for people
of color to skate and they excel at it. I’m breaking barriers and I’m just embracing
that. I’m just being me. Maame’s story is a great story and an All-American
story 18 year old kid, immigrant, moved here with her father. Just seeing someone that looks like you just
opens up a different avenue like wow I didn’t know that people like me did that. It’s really powerful, it’s created a lot of
excitment. We’re gonna see a lot of kids working a lot
harder at their disciplines on the ice because of Maame. But our goal isn’t to send kids to the olympics,
our goal is to give kids the opportunity to participate.

Maame Biney and this ice rink are encouraging children of color to play winter sports

3 thoughts on “Maame Biney and this ice rink are encouraging children of color to play winter sports

  • February 9, 2018 at 2:38 pm
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    Hockeys cycles of popularity in the United States have always attracted new people to ice skating but without subsidized youth programs its unaffordable for most kids of all colors, When I was growing up there was numerous outdoor hockey rinks and areas they flooded for public skating, All the local outdoor rinks are gone because the underground pipes rusted and rotted out and they quit setting up the outdoor skating areas because of melting of the ice and lack of funds to maintain them, Hockey is the ultimate sport but its something you can only do at ice rinks and its really expensive to rent ice or buy skates and equipment

    Reply
  • February 10, 2018 at 7:31 am
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    Bravo!

    Reply
  • February 13, 2018 at 8:20 pm
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    Love it!!!

    Reply

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