Learn to Skate will Resume January 1st

Springfield, Mass. — The 25th anniversary of the Stephen O’Brien Memorial Learn to Skate Program continues on Saturday January 1st at Cyr Arena in Forest Park.  The Learn to Skate program will not be held on Saturday December 25th due to Christmas.   On Saturday December 18th Santa was on the ice skating with the kids!

The Springfield Police Department sponsors the program and has active and retired officers volunteers to help teach children from the community how to skate.  Learn to Skate runs every Saturday (except for Christmas Day) through January 8th.  Each session is from 3-4 p.m., but we ask you to arrive by 2:30 p.m.  If you are skating and new to the ice or under 14 years old, please bring and wear a properly fitting hockey, bicycle, or skiing helmet.


Cyr Arena (Forest Park), 200 Trafton Road, Springfield


Sessions will begin Saturday, Nov. 27, with additional sessions running every Saturday through Jan. 8 (except for Christmas Day, Saturday, Dec. 25). Each session will be held from 3-4 p.m. Children wishing to participate are asked to arrive by 2:30 p.m. each week.


Members of the Springfield Police Department will be present for each session.


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Stephen O’Brien Memorial Learn-to-Skate Program, and the 24th year it has taken place (the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). As part of the program, Springfield Police officers teach children of all ages how to ice skate.

The program is free of charge, including skate rental, ice time and instruction. Children are asked to bring a properly fitted bicycle or hockey helmet and gloves to keep their hands warm.

The program is open to all children, not just Springfield residents.

Children are not required to participate in every session and may take part in as many sessions as they wish.

About Officer O’Brien

Springfield Police Officer Stephen O’Brien died of cancer in 2015 at the age of 56.

A native of Springfield, he worked for several years at the Hampden County Registry of Probate before joining the Springfield Police Department in 1986.

In addition to golfing and coaching baseball for many years in Westfield, Officer O’Brien was one of the first Springfield Police officers who took part in the “Learn-to-Skate” program at Cyr Arena that is now named in his honor.

“Officer O’Brien was not only a dedicated police officer but he also gave back to the community in many ways, including coaching and mentoring children in our area,” Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said. “After having to put this program on hold last year, we are very excited to be able to welcome families back to Cyr Arena for the 25th anniversary of the event and look forward to officers carrying on Officer O’Brien’s legacy of teaching children how to ice skate and being positive role models for the youth of Springfield.”

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood and I are very happy to see this great community program return after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Officer O’Brien was truly a wonderful and dedicated officer who gave back to our Springfield community in many ways.  I am proud to join with our brave and dedicated men and women in Blue in supporting the return of this Learn to Skate event to honor the memory of Officer Stephen O’Brien and his legacy.”