Ryde rink may be shut, but IW skaters are still in action. Nikita Heathfield, who moved up to Dundee for university this autumn, is continuing her training at Dundee Ice Arena. This weekend (14 to 16 October) she was competing at Aberdeen Opens in the level 9 ladies short and free programmes: level 9 at this event is the equivalent level for her junior status.
Nikita finished 4th in the short programme with 31.60 points, and 7th in the free with 52.08 points. Her result in the free suffered from deductions for falls, but none the less was a new personal best by five points.
BBC South Today covered the campaign to save Ryde ice rink in its evening broadcast on 12 October.
The broadcast gives the impression that Bracknell is the nearest rink on which the Wight Jewels can train: it is the nearest ice rink for which they can currently get ice time – Gosport and Basinsgtoke rinks are nearer.
Wightlink also sponsors the IW synchronized skating teams, helping with some of the ferry costs.
IW senior synchronized skating team Wight Jewels have launched a fundraising campaign following their bold declaration to carry on competing this season after the closure of their home rink last week.
This summer they completed another week-long training course in Sweden with top international synchronized skating coach Andrea Dohany, priming them for the season and the push towards the British championships in January 2017. The closure of Ryde rink means they must now train on ice rinks on the mainland, and the fundraising campaign aims to help pay towards ice time and travel. The team receives sponsorship from Wightlink, which will help with some but not all of the ferry costs.
As a junior team, the Jewels won the British championships four times in succession, and in 2012 at the Junior World Challenge Cup in Gothenburg they achieved 15th place, which at the time was the highest world championship position achieved by a British team for more than 10 years. A number of that team’s skaters still form the core of experience in today’s Jewels, who last season moved up to senior level. The team have had to learn new skills to do so, and have been refining them for this season.
The Jewels’ first competition this season is Wales and West Synchronized Skating Competition on 5 and 6 November 2016 in Cardiff.
The team have put in countless hours of hard work at unsociable hours to attain their current level. The team aim to raise £1,500. To support them, please contribute to the fundraiser at:
On the day that Ryde ice rink shut for good, senior synchronized skating team Wight Jewels vowed on social media to continue to compete this season. The team comprises Island and mainland skaters: it trained on mainland rinks when Ryde Arena shut because of storm damage, and plans to train on mainland rinks again this season now that Ryde rink has shut.
While iowskaters.com can find an angle on skating news related to the Isle of Wight and its skaters, iowskaters.com will continue to report on these achievements. The site will, therefore, continue, both as a record of Island skaters’ past achievements and as a reporter of their future successes.
Wight Jewels compete at Wales and West’s synchronized skating competition in Cardiff on 5 and 6 November.
It is with great sadness that Ryde Arena Limited has today informed its staff and users that we are no longer in a position to operate Ryde Arena.
It has become clear in recent weeks that AEW/BNY Mellon (the landlords) have no interest in allowing us to run a not for profit facility for the community.
At this present time we would like to put on record our thanks to the loyal staff and the dozens of volunteers who have worked tirelessly in the last 18 months to keep the arena open, despite some of the cruellest setbacks possible. In addition our thanks also go to our customers, Ryde Town Council and the Isle of Wight Council for their support.
We are truly devastated that the island is losing this facility.
At this stage we have no idea what the landlords plans are for the building. Clearly the landlord AEW/BNY Mellon still have the opportunity to see sense and discuss a solution that is acceptable to both parties and avoid yet another empty derelict building that serves no purpose to the community.
In the next few days we will make public some of the issues we faced in the hope that it will shed some light on what we were up against.