Ice sports: Ensuring surface kept up to scratch

Dunedin ice skating coach Fanis Shakirzianau has a spin in front of the two resurfacing machines...
Dunedin ice skating coach Fanis Shakirzianau has a spin in front of the two resurfacing machines at the Dunedin Ice Stadium yesterday. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
The Dunedin Ice Stadium has bought a $150,000 ice-resurfacing machine to meet the heavy international commitments the stadium will have next year.

The new machine arrived this week and will back up the $120,000 machine that has been used at the stadium for the past three years.

The stadium will host three international events next year: the third division of the world indoor hockey championships in April, the senior curling championships in April and the Winter Games in August-September.

"We want to continue our efforts to get excellence," Dunedin Stadium manager Neil Gamble said.

"The two machines will help us to maintain the standard."

The Caversham Trust donated $100,000 and is the major sponsor of the new machine, which will be tested this year, with the Dunedin Thunder playing in the national ice hockey league and three other major events in July.

The South Island skating championships, New Zealand under-21 curling championships and Wendorf Rock national curling championships will be held next month.

While these events are going on, Grant Howie and Morgan Figgins will be training at the stadium, trying to make the 2010 Winter Olympics ice skating team in the pairs.

The New Zealand speed skating team will also train at the stadium later this month.

It cost $3.4 million to turn the Dunedin Stadium into an ice centre.

The Dunedin City Council paid $1.2 million for a new roof and Dunedin Ice Sports has raised the other $2.2 million.

The Dunedin City Council rents the building to Dunedin Ice Sports, which owns the plant and equipment. Dunedin Ice Sports received $1.6 million of its share from charitable trusts and the remainder through debentures from club members.

The venue has proven popular, with 75,000 people using the facilities each year. During the busy season (winter), 2000 people use the Dunedin Ice Rink each week, dropping to 1000 in the low season.

"We have the only ice arena of its type in the southern hemisphere," chairman Edwin Harley said. "It is something Dunedin can be proud of."


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