Support for ice rink heats up in Bendigo

Ice Hockey player Callum Janssen on the temporary ice rink at the Bendigo Showgrounds on Monday. Picture: JIM ALDERSEYRELATED: Push for permanent ice rink

SUPPORTfor a permanent ice rink in Bendigo has thrilled some of its keenest proponents.

Atemporary ice rink set up at the showgroundsprompted renewed calls fora futurefacility on Monday from theCentral Victorian Ice Sports and Entertainment, which has been advocating for a new rink since one closed in Bendigo five years ago.

One of the main driver’s of a previouscall to see a new rink open, former CVISE president Nancy Davis, said she wasthrilled with a largely positive communityresponse to the latest push on the Bendigo Advertiser’s Facebook page.

She said she was “cautiously optimistic” about the push resulting in a new rink down the track.

“I can’t see why it wouldn’t be a great thing for Bendigo,” she said.

CVISE treasurerKaren Lucas said the idea of another ice rinkbrought backmemories for members of the ice sporting community who used the former one.

She said the group felt strongly that for anew rink to be viable, it needed to beconnected with another sporting facility such asthe Bendigo Stadiumor a swimming pool.

“I think the Schweppes Centre would be our best option,” she said.

“There could be a great pay offif it was attached to a multi-sport centre.”

Long-time ice skater,City of Greater Bendigo councillor Rod Fyffe, said he supported the call for a new rink.

“I think it’s terrific, we’ve had a rink in past and that was very successful until we had to close it for a while, then it never really took off again,” he said.

He said anumber of Bendigo residentshad “wonderful experiences” of an ice rink in town.

“It’s something a lot of people have taken a great deal of pleasure from in the past,” he said.

Cr Fyffe said a new rink in Bendigo would be a point of difference,given there was no other rink outside Melbourne, andwould also be something Bendigo couldbuild upon.

He said Curling Australia had previously expressedinterested in the idea and such “symbiotic relationships would be advantageous”.

The idea ofco-location, of the rinkcombining with other health or sportingfacilities, was anothergood idea.

He saidnowwouldbea worthwhiletime forproponents to take the idea to council.

“I think it’s worth close examination, has a lot of potential and we do have the experience (of having a rink),” he said.

He said MsLucas’ hopes of progress on the plans in the next five years were not unrealistic.

“I think she’s got every reason to be optimistic,” he said.

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