Pionk Hockey Camp Adjusting to New Social Distancing Guidelines

Some of the rules include each camper having their temperature taken before they come in and splitting the ice to create two pods of skaters.

DULUTH, Minn. – This week, hockey rinks across the Northland opened their doors, but not for games just yet. So in the meantime, it’s all about three things: practice, practice, practice.

The Pionk hockey camp is underway at the Heritage Center, but with new guidelines for social distancing. Some of the rules include each camper having their temperature taken before they come in and splitting the ice to create two pods of skaters.

“We do it at times anyways in the regular camp. We do a lot of half-ice stuff broken apart by ability. It does limit you a little bit with the full ice, but that’s OK. We’ve got plenty of room on half-ice. We’ve got anywhere between 15 and 18 kids in each session so there’s not that many kids. We’ve got plenty of room out there and it’s working. It’s working pretty well,” camp director Scott Pionk said.

As for the kids, the changes are something they will definitely get used to because they just want to be on the ice as much as they can.

“It’s been kind of different. It’s been a little tough since we haven’t been on the ice since March for playoffs,” said Adrienne Erickson.

“Very excited. It’s been probably like six months from skating on the ice and it’s like skating on your tippy-toes kind of,” Nikolai Zhukov said.

“I asked one group and there was only one of the 18 kids that had been on the ice at all in the last three months. You could tell they were a little bit rusty, but it doesn’t take them long. It’s kind of like riding a bike. They get right back at it,” said Pionk.

Categories: High School, Sports