The University announced plans to create an on-campus ice rink on December 2. The ice rink, which will be available from January 14 to February 27, will be free for all participants.
Located on the tennis courts adjacent to N. Charles Street, the pop-up rink and rental skates will be available to students and staff as well as community members during special weekend hours. All users will need to book 90-minute sessions through an online registration system which will be available in January.
Freshman Vikrant Mahajan shared his excitement for the rink in an email to The News-Letter, describing it as a way to de-stress during the school year.
“The ice rink is an exciting feature the University is bringing to campus,” he wrote. “Coming from Minnesota, I grew up ice skating in the winter, and it’s a fond memory of home even though I’m in Baltimore. My friends and I are really happy to use it.
Vice President of Communications Andrew Green explained that plans for the rink were developed with the college tennis schedule in mind in an email to The News-Letter.
“The tennis team usually practices in an indoor facility at the start of the semester, and the nets are not re-installed until the weather permits, which usually coincides with the rink’s scheduled blackout time” , he wrote. “The athletic department will make sure the team has practice time.”
Junior Christina Huynh, a member of the women’s tennis team, recalled her surprise when she heard the University’s decision to build an ice rink on the tennis courts in an interview with The News-Letter.
“I came home from Thanksgiving Break expecting another two weeks of outdoor training, and just saw that all the netting and fences were down. I was just very confused,” she said. “I didn’t know that until I saw Hopkins’ Instagram post.”
Huynh explained that the team already had plans for indoor practice but did not expect the courts to be used for campus activities while the team trained indoors.
In an email to The News-Letter, sophomore Daniel Ardila, a member of the men’s tennis team, expressed his hope that the rink will inspire the University to update the tennis courts. According to him, the courts should have bleachers for spectators, bins for players on the courts, off-site viewing options and improved lighting.
“Our facilities pale in comparison to those of D[ivision-III] programs in much smaller schools. We did our best with what we had to make it to the last four and [number five] in the nation,” he wrote.
Huynh also noted calls from teams to improve tennis courts.
“I just hope the University notices the much needed improvements on the courts and plans to give them to us in exchange for using the courts for the rink,” she said.
Freshman Robbie Kuang expressed his eagerness to skate after not having the opportunity during the pandemic in an interview with The News-Letter.
“I love ice skating, but I haven’t been able to ice skate since COVID[-19] started. I’m thrilled to have such a close and super accessible rink,” they said. “I hope to invite friends over and hone some skills once the rink opens.”