INDIAN HEAD, SASK. -- While the pandemic has forced a lot of us to look for new ways to entertain ourselves, an Indian Head couple decided to use their love of curling to create a rink right in their backyard.

Amy Redding and her husband Darcy Gares said they have wanted to build their own curling rink for years. When the pandemic forced the local arena to close, they knew it was time to give it their best shot.

“It started 25 years ago when I purchased the curling rocks from a farm auction with the hopes of one day making a rink in the backyard,” Gares said. “(It) never happened but this year because of COVID protocols, we thought we'd make time be able to have some friends and family over within our protocols and have some fun.”

With a snow blower, some tarp and a hose, Gares began creating the sheet. Making the rink took about a week.

“It's not something you put in seven days of work, 50 hours for only an hour. We know that our Saskatchewan winters are long and we'll be able to enjoy this I think until the end of February or even into March,” Redding said.

The couple is a huge fan of curling, they’ve been involved locally with the sport for years along with their children.

This outdoor rink has allowed them to have friends and family over while adhering to provincial guidelines.

“We've got some family friends who have little kids that will be future curlers at our local curling rink here in town, so its been really nice to have them over and just get to visit with them outside and spend some time,” she said.

While the way the game is played on this sheet is sometimes quite different than in the arena, the couple says they’re happy to give their friends some normalcy.

“It's given us the opportunities to hurry hard with ten in the yard, that’s what we've said all during the holidays,” Redding said.

When the ice melts this year, the couple says they have ideas on how to improve the rink for next year.