Archie Bicknell has joined the ranks of ice skaters nominated  for the 2014 Isle of Wight Sports Achievement Awards. He was included in the list of nominees for the men published in the Isle of Wight County Press on Friday. The awards take place on 19 March.

The Isle of Wight skating club reports that the following skaters passed NISA tests at Ryde on  4 March 2015:

Field Moves
Level 1: Sophia Elliott
Level 5: William Riley
Level 6: Toni Delap, Holly Donohue
Level 9: Charlotte Chapman

Level 1: Serena Copping
Level 2: Saphire Recalde-Arnold
Level 3: Holly Eldridge, Robyn Johnson
Level 4: Oliver Brunton, Roxy Collins, Miles Grist
Level 5: Toni Delap, William Riley
Level 7: Charlotte Chapman

Level 1: Serena Copping
Level 2: Saphire Recalde-Arnold
Level 3: Holly Eldridge, Robyn Johnson
Level 4: Roxy Collins
Level 5: Toni Delap

This information is posted on the club’s Facebook page, rather than its website, and is subject to confirmation by NISA.

With Planet Ice stating that it will close Ryde rink on 25 March, these may be the last NISA test results at Ryde for some time.


The Isle of Wight County Press on Friday published the list of nominees for this year’s Isle of Wight Sports Achievement Awards for girls and women. Other categories will be published later. The awards take place on 19 March.

Among them is Gemma Marsh of Freshwater, currently training with synchronized skating team Team Surprise in Gothenburg.

Ice skating has only really figured successfully in the awards once, when coach Terri Smith won coach of the year for her achievements in 2007 (award presented February 2008, see iowskaters.com).

This is the late evening news coverage on BBC South Today on 22 February about the rally in Ryde in support of the rink.

The rally also demonstrated another key feature of the rink: it is one of the few wet-weather venues of any great capacity on the Island.

Trophy D’Ecosse videos

Perhaps it’s a good opportunity with the Ryde rink under threat to look at some of the recent successes of its synchronized skating teams. If Ryde rink closes, the Isle of Wight will lose all the coaching experience and skating experience that has seen its teams compete on the world stage. Wight Jewels have won the British championships at junior level four times, and represented Great Britain three times at the junior world championships.


Wight Jewels, Junior B gold medallists, free programme


Wight Crystals, Basic Novice B silver medallists


Wight Sparkles, Elementary silver medallists (no sound owing to technical fault):

Planet Ice announced yesterday that it is to cease operations at Ryde ice rink on 25 March. The company has been the rink’s operator since it took over from Isle of Wight Council. The council still owns the building; Planet Ice is simply the leaseholder.

Planet Ice had an obligation to run the venue as an ice rink for 15 years, after which any guarantee that it would remain an ice rink ended. That obligation runs until February 2016, according to IW Council, and the council is currently seeking clarification from Planet Ice about how it intends to keep to its obligations.

Mike Petrouis of Planet Ice has said he is prepared to talk to interested parties and to sell the remainder of the lease plus fixtures and fittings for £5. Petrouis said the rink was currently losing about £140,000 a year.

iowskaters knows of several interested parties and wishes them well in ensuring the continued operation of the Ryde rink.

The rink, of course, was in the news in January 2012 when HM Revenue and Customs issued winding up orders against eight of Arena Group’s Planet Ice rinks – Basingstoke, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Gosport, Isle of Wight, Peterborough and Hemel Hempstead – over unpaid taxes. Mike Petrouis, previous owner of the Planet Ice brand, at that time emerged as the saviour of those rinks. Of those eight, Norwich has since closed, Cardiff will close when the new winter sports village opens under a different operator (Planet Ice was dropped as a partner by the council over perceived financial concerns), and Hemel Hempstead was at risk until an active campaign saved it. Milton Keynes has benefited from extensive refurbishment as a result of work on the development of which it is part and has reopened. Gosport remains in a run-down condition with a long-promised refurbishment depending on financial support.

Planet Ice recently closed its Leisure Box ice rink in Birmingham, also citing poor financials; a planning application to turn the site into an 11-storey development of flats and shops has since been submitted. Planet Ice has twice tried and failed at the planning stage to redevelop the Ryde rink, first into a hotel and apartments, and second into a combined rink and supermarket.

There is an action group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/794820610588525/

An online petition to express support for the rink is at: https://www.change.org/p/isle-of-wight-save-our-rink

Spring Cup 2015, Milan

The 21st Spring Cup gets under way at the Palasesto ice rink in Sesto San Giovanni, Milan, on 13 to 15 February. This synchronized skating competition attracts some of the world’s top teams, including the awesome Team Surprise from Sweden at senior level, Haydenettes from USA, Tartarstan from Russia and Nexxice from Canada. Nexxice will be fresh from the Trophy D’Ecosse, where they amassed a stunning 202.69 points.

Junior level has also attracted some top teams, with Nexxice Juniors, Idel from Russia, Synchroettes from the USA, three Swedish teams including Convivium and Spirit, and Team Berlin Juniors.

The draw takes place on 13 February, with the skating on 14 and 15 February. The event has an active Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/user/springcup. iowskaters understands that this year’s event will be streamed and details will be available later this week. As Ryan T Thornton was on our flight from Gatwick, and arrived at the PalaSesto rink shortly after we did on Thursday, streaming will almost certainly be by On The Rocks and available on a YouTube channel. Update: Stream is by On a The Rocks, see link below.

iowskaters will be at the event, updating via our Facebook page when possible, depending on internet connections.

Link: www.springcup.it

Teams: www.springcup.it/15/team.html

Schedule: www.springcup.it/15/time.html

Results: www.springcup.it/15/results.html and http://www.fisg.it/upload/result/3544/index.html

Live streaming: http://www.ontherocks.co/spring-cup.html


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