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Would you like to see a new ice rink in Canberra?

By Canfan - 3 June 2015 24


Members of Canberra’s ice sports community are petitioning the ACT Government to open a new ice rink in the capital. 

The petition organisers say the Phillip ice skating rink is outdated, in poor condition and too small to accommodate sporting fans of teams such as CBR Brave.

From the petition:

Ice sports (such as figure skating, broom ball and ice hockey) are becoming more and more popular in the ACT, however due to limited resources, people who are looking to join one of these sports are being turned away.

The current rink in Canberra is out dated and in very poor condition, with injuries due to the ices surface being uneven at times, on the rise. Further to this, the rink is unable to accommodate fans of sporting teams such as the CBR Brave, reaching capacity very early on and reducing the chance of a slight boost of tourism income when rival team supporters follow their teams to competitions.

A new ice rink in Canberra will increase the supply of ice time available to meet the demands of the ACT community, as well as potentially lead to increased tourism opportunities (especially for national competitions). With new facilities present, there is also a high chance that a reduction of on ice injuries will occur both for people competing in sports and also citizens who look to enjoy the ice facilities with their friends and families.

You can sign the petition here. 

What’s Your opinion?

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24 Responses to
Would you like to see a new ice rink in Canberra?
farnarkler 10:41 pm 03 Jun 15

It’s getting a bit like the Raiders and Seiffert all those years ago. We’re very close to saturation point with hockey teams and have just welcomed an Australian Defence Force team into the fold. There are a couple of ways to fund a new rink; corporate ownership like ANZ or Etihad or use skating as an educational tool. ANU or UCAN could have some sort of sports degree with ice sports as their main study subject.

Ezy 5:16 pm 03 Jun 15

vintage123 said :

Build one out of used shipping containers. Or extend Westside to accomodate one. I mean how many over 50’s actually ice skate.

Quite a few actually. There is a club called Canberra Senators… They are a team made up of ‘older’ gentlemen, and they kicked our butt not long ago.

watto23 3:14 pm 03 Jun 15

We should probably embrace the winter more in Canberra than they do.
A new ice rink in the city would be great, but can only see it happening if and when they either build the new swimming pool and locate it there or later when they build the new football stadium and locate it there (suspect there is no room for it).

The exiting ice rink gets used, I suspect though the owners don’t seem to care much, the condition of the place has been bad for decades now. I remember having to play Broomball at 7am on a Sunday due to the lack of ice time.

vintage123 3:04 pm 03 Jun 15

Build one out of used shipping containers. Or extend Westside to accomodate one. I mean how many over 50’s actually ice skate.

rubaiyat 12:49 pm 03 Jun 15

Sounds good, make sure you put it somewhere central and easily accessible by public transport.

Have you crunched your numbers for current and potential participants as well as possible costs/returns?

On the face of it it makes more sense than a heated and polluted Lake Burley Griffin.

There could be a case for putting this into one of the Regional Shopping Malls as was done with the Macquarie Mall in Sydney.

Solidarity 12:32 pm 03 Jun 15

Ezy said :

Solidarity said :

Buy a warehouse and build one.

Oh wow! Thanks for this idea – it seems so obvious now. Time to find that spare million I have lying around.

I don’t understand what the issue is, the Government didn’t pitch in and build a trampoline room for gymnasts just because they wanted one. Ice sports are great and the Braves are attracting big crowds… build a rink and profit from it. The Government is too busy stacking shipping crates on top of each other and building trains and such.

Spare a thought for a supporters of a dragway, another niche sport that attracts many from the community – They DID have a proposal to build one themselves, but nope.

Ezy 11:11 am 03 Jun 15

Rollersk8r said :

What are you complaining about – they build a second rink in Civic every winter!!

The ’Skate in the City’ rink is good, small space for those that want to try ice skating in an outdoor environment. This rink actually works to get more people interested in skating and after this closes, you will see a peak in visitors to the rink with the intention to learn how to figure skate. But they will slowly get turned off the sport because of the limited access to the ice – and also the gross, worn down facility we have.

An olympic sized rink is 61m x 30.5m, or an NHL sized rink is 61m x 26m. The canberra rink is 55m x 25m – which the size itself feels quite cramped to play hockey on. I have played down in Melbourne and will get lost a little out there due to the extra room. The ice surface is a lot harder which makes skating easier, it makes the puck travel in a way that is predictable rather than the puck bouncing all over the place on the Phillip surface.

I just don’t understand how the government know about this problem, yet they ignore it they know how popular these sports are – during the winter olympics, Ice Hockey was the most watched sport on television. Outside of Canada and USA, Australia has the highest number of subscribers to NHL Gamecentre which gives you access to view all of the NHL games. It is so frustrating when you see such big money spending risks like Westside happen, when you know that the money being spent there would provide a decent facility to cater to a large part of our community.

It is a case of build it, and they will come.

Tymefor 10:53 am 03 Jun 15

Sounds great! But perhaps we should think about providing dedicated facilities to some of the other fringe sports that have become successful first. I believe the CRDL (roller derby) continues to attract large crowds to every match. Also from what I’ve been hearing the emergence of a Canberran European handball league brought a smile.

Funky1 10:23 am 03 Jun 15

From what I understand, Phillip ice rink isn’t even international competition size, so there are numerous events that we can’t host here. And the owners had no intention of ever doing anything to the venue.

Holden Caulfield 10:21 am 03 Jun 15

It would be a lot cheaper and arguably of more short and long term benefit for GovCo to shelve the otherwise honourable light rail fantasy and build a new ice rink!

Ezy 10:14 am 03 Jun 15

Solidarity said :

Buy a warehouse and build one.

Oh wow! Thanks for this idea – it seems so obvious now. Time to find that spare million I have lying around.

Rollersk8r 10:14 am 03 Jun 15

What are you complaining about – they build a second rink in Civic every winter!!

Solidarity 10:08 am 03 Jun 15

Buy a warehouse and build one.

Dame Canberra 9:47 am 03 Jun 15

Great idea. Phillip ice rink is tired and run down, and even though we get to see some really great ice hockey played there, it’s not the sort of destination I’m proud to take visitors from interstate at the moment.

Ezy 9:28 am 03 Jun 15

Awesome – get the word out on this. I play ice hockey and the conditions of the change rooms, bath rooms, the whole complex is tired, dangerous and disgusting. Not only that, but the only time I can train is at 10.30pm – finishing up up 11.30. By the time I get changed, pack my gear, commute home, shower etc, its close to 1.00am. I drink a lot of coffee on Thursdays!

Here is a way of looking at the problem we have – what if a small town had one grass oval. In this town were many different teams who wanted to play different codes of sport: Rugby League, Rugby Union, AFL, Soccer etc. Not only did they want to play in their designated competitions on weekends, but they needed to train on this surface during the week. Then what if this surface also had to have a public access time for people to just go for a run, walk their dogs etc. Now what if this oval got more and more popular where you started to turn people away, to the point where those people became no longer interested in chasing their passion and a chance to belong, and make new friends in a friendly and welcoming community.

Now imagine this oval was so run down that there were bare patches in the grass, that during the warmer months it was nothing but a dust patch rendering it useless for the sports it is intended for. Imagine that the facilities at this oval were so bad, that raw sewage would spill from the drains, that you are too embarrassed to bring friends and interstate visitors along because this is not the first impression of the sport you love that you want to show them.

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