Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Aviemore Project

I was pleased to learn that plans to build an ice rink in Aviemore are still progressing. The Aviemore Sports Centre Project is organising a Community Open Day, and have extended an invitation to all interested in discussing the project. Well kent curler Yvonne Birnie is Vice-chair of the Aviemore Sports Centre Project group and says, "We would be delighted if you could join us and help us to decide what you want your future sports centre to look and feel like and what types of activities you’d like to see offered."

Sunday, February 26, is the date, and the Peregrine Suite at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort is the venue. Drop in anytime between 13:00 and 20:00.

The aim is for a community owned and operated sports centre accessible to all, providing indoor, wet weather activities, to complement the outdoor activities for which the region is well known. The website for the Aviemore Sports Centre Project is here.

The ice rink would be part of a larger sports centre including tennis facilities and sports hall which will accommodate spectator seating during competitions. The facility would also include a café/bar, changing and storage facilities, fitness suite, sports physio rooms, specialist video analysis room, meeting/board rooms and a crèche.

The ice arena would be for skating, curling, ice hockey and anything else associated with ice. In the summer months flooring could be put down and this area could also be used for concerts, and summer activities when the weather is bad. The rink would be large enough to have international ice hockey matches, skating competitions and curling events. It would also be able to be used by local schools to train and perhaps also provide a facility for elite athletes. Wheelchair curling would be accommodated.

Will it ever happen? Let's hope so. In these days when depressing economic news fills the pages, I would like to be optimistic. Perhaps one of these despised bankers we hear so much about might think about passing on his bonus to a project that would benefit so many locals and visitors to the Aviemore area. Some chance of that I suspect!

I have happy memories of the old Aviemore rink in the 1970s - the venue for the Uniroyal World Juniors in 1976 of course, and then when we went up to play in 1979, getting snowed in for a week. Them were the days!