Masturbating on ice

In Sports /

By Frank Pingue

Ryerson’s figure skating team plans to put last year’s sexually disturbing incident behind them as they begin practices for the upcoming season.

Last January after a practice at Moss Park Arena the women discovered a man masturbating outside their locker-room. The intruder didn’t harm the skaters, but he did scare them a little.

Ryerson’s athletic department was informed of the incident at once and arrangements were made to restrict spectators from attending any more practice for the rest of the year.

“We’re going to move forward and take something positive from the situation,” said Jennifer Chapman, returning for her second year as head coach of the figure skating team. “It’s not going to scare us off, we don’t get scared that easily.”

Chapman believes the intruder did not mean any harm and was just looking for a warm place to stay. It was the first time the man appeared at a practice and he has not been back since. No charges were laid.

Bridget Wight, a third-year hospitality and tourism student, has been skating with the team for three years. She believes the incident taught the team a valuable lesson.

“It has made us more aware of the area and now we know we all have to walk in groups and lock the change rooms.”

Wight and Chapman would both like to see practices closed to spectators at Moss Park Arena again this winter.

“When the weather gets colder we will probably close our practices in order to eliminate any chance of a similar incident happening.” said Chapman. “I think having closed practices is a preventative measure which keeps the team happy and strong.”

Moss Park Arena is located at Queen and Sherbourne St’s. This is not one of Toronto’s safest neighborhoods, but the team does not have many options.

Arenas don’t like having figure skaters practice on their ice because their skates cause chips and more repairs than necessary.

Ryerson women are forced to hold some practices in Mississauga.

Chapman has already put last year’s incident behind her and encourages the rest of the team to do the same and focus on the new season that lies ahead.

“We won’t and can’t let it dampen our spirits because we are looking forward to a very positive and successful season. We want to win with a medal…any colour.”

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