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Friday, October 24, 2008


I read with dismay the Straits Times report "Freeze on winter Olympic sports"

Plans to introduce four winter Olympic sports to Singaporeans have been put on ice.

This follows the news that CapitaMall Trustbuild will hold back its plans to add an Olympic-sized ice skating rink at Jurong Entertainment Centre.

The 20m by 40m rink at Jurong Entertainment Centre's Fuji Ice Palace was expected to be replaced with an Olympic-sized 30m by 60m rink, as part of the $138.2 million overhaul of the centre by CapitaMall Trust.

The delay means that it will take a while longer before winter Olympic sports like figure skating, short track speed skating, ice hockey and curling can be introduced to Singaporeans, said Singapore Ice Skating Association (Sisa) president Sonja Chong.

She added that Singapore's long-term future as a member of the International Skating Union (ISU) is also on thin ice.

Sisa received provisional membership status earlier this year but is in danger of losing it if the rink is not completed.

Said Ms Chong: 'Our membership status is contingent on the completion of this Olympic-sized rink. If there are no signs of it on the horizon, it is unlikely that ISU will give us full membership status.'

ISU membership is vital as it allows Singapore skaters to compete in ISU-sanctioned events, like the Junior Grand Prix, World Championships and Olympics.

I have essentially lost my rink - seemingly for good. What will happen with figure skating? I would say that if the present Kallang rink is operated like Fuji was, the sport will still flourish. Unfortunately this seems not to be the case. Figure skaters are now finding it increasingly difficult to get their ice time - and even lesson time, given that the rink is imposing a "coaching freeze".

What do I mean by "coaching freeze"?
They are unwilling to hire any more coaches.
Because they say their rink schedule is full.

Well it is true that all their current coaches are full, and there is a mile-long waiting list... but if so shouldn't they be hiring more coaches? I just can't get my head around the logic!


Mrs Redboots (Annabel Smyth) said...

*hugs* Oh Chow - how ghastly. I suppose it is the Current Economic Climate.... but still appalling.

Dano said...

Oh dear...just as we were starting to send skaters to the JGP. And I was looking forward to skating again after my As.

Chow said...

Well, I suppose I can be "just a skater" for now... I'm waiting to see what will happen in the next 2 months.

dorayaki said...

It's sad and I am in danger of losing my Lesson slot to pple doing FS. May have to be forced to give up learning after all. :(