Skaters hit the ice Monday for the first time this winter at an outdoor rink on the University of Saskatchewan campus.

The rink, located in the Bowl, is open to the public and marks the first time the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union has been involved in building an outdoor ice surface in the Bowl.

Crystal Lau, vice-president of student affairs for the students’ union, spearheaded the project, aiming to increase physical activity, improve mental health and create a better sense of community.

“Having this rink isn't out of my own interest,” Lau said. “Skating is such an easy thing where you can hang out with friends and, you know, go on a date, or just enjoy each other's company."

The rink was originally supposed to open in November or December, but was delayed due to hurricane activity in the U.S. affecting supply shipments.

The project was made possible through sponsorships and a $10,000 grant from the U of S President’s Office.

The rink will remain open until the snow melts, and will be set up annually, according to the student union.