Kihei’s public skating rink should be safe for everyone

Did you know that there is a public skating rink here on Maui?

Did you know that it is open to the public three nights a week (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights)? It is run on a purely volunteer basis by the Maui Inline Hockey Association, which has a lease agreement with the Maui County Parks (I believe it’s $1 a year). This seems like a great and healthy way for people to enjoy themselves, and to my knowledge it is one of the only public skating “rinks” in the state of Hawaii.

Unfortunately, this is not always a safe and healthy place to skate. I have been skating there for years, and have witnessed groups of kids who obviously belong to the inline hockey league by their skating skills and nonrental skates. They like to play, often skating in the wrong direction, without looking, and bam! They hit another skater.

While I consider myself a good enough skater, I wasn’t able to avoid this group on a recent visit, and after colliding with one of them I landed on my backside and ended up bruised and had whiplash.

I asked the adults in charge to please address the situation, which they did, but I doubt they will stop acting like they own the rink for their own games. If a facility is open to the public — and really, shouldn’t we all be able to enjoy this rink? — then please make it a safe place to skate.

Lori Guntzel