The Risks of Running in the Rink

January 30, 2023

Please be aware that ORFA members are once again raising a concern and frustration with the “unpermitted” and “unsafe” practice of user groups using the common areas of a building for warm-up activities, strength and/or endurance conditioning activities. The ORFA first became aware of these activities in 2018 and in partnership with the Frank Cowan Company (now Intact Public Entities -IPE) created the “Unpermitted Activities: Public Areas of Recreation Facilities Guideline"

ORFA appreciates that at times, members turn to their professional association in anticipation that the organization is able to communicate to other sport governing bodies or allied organizations to help control this behaviour. Regrettably, as much a general notice of concern can be shared, it is the owner of the building and their representatives that have direct authority to restrict activities within their buildings and public spaces. These controls must be designed and applied internally. You will note in the “Unpermitted Activities: Public Areas of Recreation Facilities Guideline", the ORFA and IPE state that these types of activities should not be permitted and key points include:

  1. It is your facility.
  2. So, it’s your responsibility.
  3. It should be your rules.

These points still very much apply in any continued concern.

In addition, what should facility management do? Consider:

  • Ensure that current operating policy remains up to date and applicable.
  • Confirm that the information is in the signed user group rental contract agreement.
  • Meet with all frontline staff and review the policy.  Include how infractions are to be dealt with and what reporting should be completed. A reminder that facility management needs to support frontline staff during known infraction times to deal with the matter directly.
  • Communicate with the contract holder and league officials on each and every infraction. Apply any sanctions or loss of privileges that are connected to the policy.
  • Ensure that the new season includes a refresher to the policy.

Facility use is a privilege that can be revoked. Facility respect is the keystone to the facility/user relationship.