An article in the Straits Times "Singapore to have two more rinks by 2009" reported the plans for a rink in Kallang, and another one at the integrated resort, Marina Bay Sands.
The same article also mentioned that the size of the rink being important, and that the rink in Kallang will be "bigger than Fuji" - this has stirred a flurry of excitement within the skating community.
However, it is a little misleading that emphasis is placed on the total area, rather than the dimensions!! Yes, an Olympic-size rink is 60m long by 30m wide, and yes, that means the total area would be 1800 sqm. BUT skating on a 60m-by-30m rink and skating in a 45m-by-40m rink can be very different!
The existing rink, Fuji Ice Palace is 40m long by 24m wide. In creating a competitive program, I must take into account that when I skate on a full-size rink, I will have to extend it out cover a 60m length. For such dimensions, it is the length that I have to consciously account for, not so much the width!
The article quotes the proposed Kallang rink to be 975.5 sqm, compared to the 960sqm of Fuji Ice Palace. Wonderful!!
BUT I have also heard that the Kallang rink will be wider than Fuji... So, let's say it is 1m wider (that's not a lot at all), which means, its width will be 25m, and its length must therefore be 975.5/25 = 39.02m -- shorter than Fuji!!
So, why is everyone so excited about the new rink in Kallang? It is something novel. It gives skaters a choice of rinks - especially those who live on the other end of the island! It will introduce some healthy competition into the current monopoly. It will, I hope, also give the sport a boost - an increase of facilities to accomodate the growing number of participants.
But given the situation, I will be staying at Fuji - not just because of the reasoning above, but also because Fuji is just an 8min-drive from where I live, or 10min on the bus!