Team GB Winter Olympic 2014 hopefuls will be among those at the official unveiling of Swindon’s newly refurbished ice rink on Monday 19 August.
Members of the Team GB Luge squad will join Swindon Mayor Cllr Nick Martin at the Link Centre at 11am as the leisure centre’s new ice pad is opened to the public following a £700,000 refurbishment project.
Right: James Brett smoothing out the 240 tons of sand laid over the new concrete slab containing 9 miles of pipework to keep the ice pad frozen
Olympian Adam Rosen, who has competed at two Winter Olympics for Team GB, will be joined at the Swindon Borough Council-owned ice rink by Team GB teammates Henry Foulkes and Ray Thompson.
The Team GB members will be present at the opening as they will be using the facility for their training starting in September.
The process of creating the new ice pad has taken several weeks and has involved the removal of the original ice pad and freezing 7,600 litres in stages until the ice reached an optimum thickness of 50mm.
A new refrigeration plant has also been installed together with new chillers and pump, which will help to maintain the ice’s temperature at -11 C.
To coincide with the refurbishment work, the ice rink has been rebranded as Swindon Ice Arena.
Members of the public will be able to try out the new ice pad during two public skating sessions on Monday. The ice will be open from 10am to 12noon and from 1pm to 3pm.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Strategic Transport and Leisure, said: “I am really pleased the refurbishment work has been completed on time and we now have a fantastic new ice pad that will benefit the casual ice skater and the various individuals and teams who use the facility.
“The old plant machinery needed to be replaced and our new bespoke system will be far more efficient and suitable to the needs of the Swindon Ice Arena.”
Link Centre, which has been repainted externally, will be holding a grand open day on Saturday 31 August
For details about opening time and prices for Swindon Ice Arena visit: www.leisureinswindon.co.uk/ice-arena
Photo below by Richard Wintle of Calyx