Disappointment as UK ice rinks remain shut
The Mixed Age Team Ice Unite from Nottingham. (Credits: Ru Pho - 2020)
Members of the British ice skating community were left reeling a few days ago with the government’s last minute announcement that rinks were no longer allowed to open.
Then they were told they would reopen on August 1st. This latest disappointment has led to an outpouring of emotion on social media with skaters, coaches and teams alike, asking why the government has made the decision to keep rinks closed, yet allow participation in other sports.
Members of the UK skating community are now trying to launch an online appeal to reopen rinks to allow training to commence, especially as other winter sports have managed to successfully lobby to be allowed to open. Some curling rinks and ski centres have been given the go-ahead to open from next week, yet ice rinks have no set plans to reopen.
The delay in opening will put the UK at a disadvantage in international competitions along with harming the training and development of young athletes at a grass roots level. Others are campaigning to remind people of the positive effects skating has on mental and physical health.
There is a general fear that some rinks will not be able to weather the financial burden for much longer. This was heightened by the announcement of the permanent closure of Bracknell Ice Rink on July 14th. Bracknell has a popular synchro club with many skaters on different teams so this rink closure is particularly devastating for the synchro community.
But until the government changes its mind, all they can do is hope and wait.