FOLLOWING the closure of Ryde Arena, Isle of Wight ice skaters have appealed to the community to help them continue to train.

The Isle of Wight Ice Dance and Figure Skating Club has applied for a grant from the Aviva Community Fund — and they need your vote.

Since the closure of the Isle of Wight's only ice rink, around 50 synchronised skaters, aged between six and 25, have travelled to Gosport and Bracknell every Sunday to train.

They have made firm friends with their mainland counterparts, who travel to the Island to take part in 'off ice' strength and fitness sessions.

The club said: "We have lost some of our Island skaters due to the financial burden on their families of the weekly ferry travel.

"Training is vital to be able to enter the teams into competitions to proudly represent the Isle of Wight.

"This project is needed to give our young ice skaters the opportunity to continue to come together with Gosport skaters to train, learn new skills and practice regularly so when they go out on the ice, they are able to make their community proud.

"It will provide a tremendous opportunity for our Island's young ice skaters to continue in the sport the love.

"Providing weekly training travel will enable them to learn valuable life skills, develop a sense of belonging and create positive role models for each other.

"We are immensely proud of our achievement to continue ice skating and we welcome the support of our community."

The club thanked Wightlink for continuing to provide discounted fares. 

Register your support and cast your vote at