From Dr Guy Moore, Sandown:

I HOPE the proposal for the new ice rink will come to fruition and I congratulate the dedicated persons doing all the work to bring this about.

I was surprised to see that according to your report (CP, 02-08-19) Sport England saw little evidence demonstrating the need for new facilities.

I was a regular figure skater at the Ryde rink from 2001, winning a gold medal in the championships of 2008, and featuring in Christmas ice shows.

It was evident during these years what a huge contribution skating provided to Islanders — not only the successes in ice hockey, but also the synchro teams, including older folk, many of them well-skilled in ice dance, all keeping fit with regular exercise.

And there were competitions recognised by the National Ice Skating Association. As announcer from time to time, I can vouch for the enthusiasm shown.

The impetus of all this has propelled the synchro teams to continue with off-ice training, setting off to practise on ice at 4am on the mainland and still bringing medals back from far afield, to the credit of dedicated skaters, instructors and sponsors. 

However, the regular daily activity of skating and all the attractions of a local facility, with visits from schools and clubs from the mainland is now lacking.

Islanders would clearly benefit from having their own skating facilities, bringing people of all ages together in a beneficial, socialising atmosphere where there are clear goals to achieve in the various categories of this sport! Some of these young people have taken up skating and sport professionally.

I haven’t skated since the closure of the Ryde facility.