A mechanical digger moved into the rink at the weekend to begin breaking up the ice at Ryde Arena. The chiller was switched off on Saturday despite an article in the IW County Press on Friday 21 October saying that it would continue to run for the next 10 weeks. Flowers were laid by skaters outside the rink on Sunday night, because Ryde ice rink is dead.
In other related and depressing news, the fabulous Wightlink Raiders ice hockey team announced this weekend that they cannot keep going. The team say on their Facebook page that: “We have been forced to make this sad decision as we cannot find enough ice time to continue functioning, and without games we cannot survive financially.” Wightlink Buccaneers, however, plan to continue.
On the up side for figure skating, Wight Jewels and the other synchronized skating teams are determined to carry on this season, travelling at super-daft times of the night and morning to train at Gosport and Bracknell. The Jewels compete for the first time this season in Cardiff on 5 and 6 November; the Crystals and Sparkles are aiming at the British championships in January 2017. The IW skating club needs to continue to support not just them but also the individuals who are travelling to Guildford rink to train. Southampton ice skating club lives on long after the loss of its rink, and so too can the IW club. While the club exists, skaters can continue on compete under the IW banner.
Internationally, the IW also has performances by Nikita Heathfield, now training in Dundee while at university, to look forward to on the junior circuit for the next two years. Plus the IW’s Gemma Marsh, carrying the torch for synchro with Sweden’s Team Surprise, six-times senior world champions.
IW-born skater Tommy-Jo Nyman – or TJ to pretty much everyone – currently features in the US Figure Skating Get Up campaign to promote ice skating: http://www.wegetup.com. TJ is 2015 US intermediate champion and 2014 US juvenile champion.
iowskaters.com will continue to report on their achievements: there may be no rink but IW skating lives on.