Establishing a new ice sports centre in Canberra has been the plan for the ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF) since Chief Minister Andrew Barr promised to help bring a new ice sports facility to the ACT.
And in an attempt to quicken the process of bringing the “most overdue sporting infrastructure in the territory”, the Ice Sports Federation have called on two ACT MLAs to build awareness and advocate the need for the new facility.
During his election campaign in August 2016, the Chief Minister announced the ACT government’s commitment to partner with the federation to achieve a new ice sports facility, starting with the government’s funding of an options process.
Mr Barr said that the construction of the facility in Canberra’s south would commence within the four-year parliamentary term.
ACTISF has been working with a range of stakeholders, including representatives from all sides of ACT politics, community and sports groups, and Active Canberra to make the ice sports centre a reality.
The Federation has set the “optimistic but achievable” timeline of an operational new national ice sports centre in 2019-2020, which requires full community consultation, planning, and design.
ACTISF president Tony Prescott believes with the ACT government, Active Canberra and the local community’s ongoing support, the new ice sports centre remains on track.
To help the process gain speed, the Federation appointed passionate ice sports advocates MLAs Bec Cody (Labor) and Vicki Dunne (Liberal) as ACTISF co-patrons.
The deputy Speaker and shadow minister for health and the arts, Vicki Dunne, said that she was looking forward to working with the ACTISF on the future of ice sports in the ACT.
“Canberra has been in need of a new ice sports centre for quite some time, and it’s important we develop a venue that allows local ice sports to grow while providing opportunities for all Canberrans,” Ms Dunne said.
The first-term Labor MLA for Murrumbidgee Bec Cody said she enjoyed the ice sports as a teen.
“I loved playing ice hockey as a teenager, and I would encourage Canberrans to take up the ice sports or recreational ice skating,” she said.
“I look forward to working with the ACT Ice Sports Federation on the future of ice sports in the ACT.”
Mr Prescott said the commitment the Federation shares with the MLAs is to community sport and building the National Ice Sports Centre will enable the ice sports to continue to develop and become more sustainable long-term.
“Our vision is for Canberra to become the national capital of ice sports, particularly as we are the gateway to the snow and have the Australian Institute of Sport right here,” Mr Prescott said.
“While developing elite programs will be part of our approach, we want to create new opportunities for our local kids including speed skating, curling and various disabled ice sports activities.”
“For the federation, it’s about utilising a new facility to give back to the community and growing our sports in the process.”