2019-20 British & Irish Figure Skating

CaroLiza_fan

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Interesting article about Conor Stakelum from Ireland. I hope it's okay to post this.

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/ot...kating-ambitions-put-on-ice-for-now-1.4269760

Ah good! The Sunday World ran basically the same story a few days ago, and I would have posted a link to the online version except that that particular newspaper doesn't publish stories to their website. :mad: Unfortunately, it is one of those sites that is just there to tell you to go and buy the newspaper. :palmf:

My Dad sometimes buys the Sunday World, but he didn't this week. Although, to be honest, I doubt if Conor's story would have been in the Northern Ireland edition anyway. Unlike a lot of newspapers where there are only minor differences in the editions, there are very few things that are the same between the Northern and Southern editions of the Sunday World. They have totally separate editorial setups.

The ISAI weren't any more helpful because, although they posted about the story on their Facebook page (which is how I found out about it), the accompanying picture only showed the photographs; it didn't show any of the writing. :bang:

So, thank you to the Irish Times for picking up the story, and for letting us read it online. :thank:

And thank you ladyjane for finding it! :bow: :clap: :points:

Incidentally, while on the ISAI Facebook page, I saw that a couple of weeks ago they shared a photo that Ice Dundee had posted of Conor at work:

ISAI version
Ice Dundee version

Keep up the good work, Conor! :cheer: And hopefully it will not be too long until you can start training properly again.

I read a story on Aertel (RTÉ's teletext service) this morning that said that athletes are expected to be allowed to return to training from Monday (web version), when the South is planning on entering Phase 2 of the easing of restrictions. But, the story just talks about football training and those training for the summer Olympics. So, I've no idea if skaters would be able to do something that is more like their normal off-ice training again or not.

CaroLiza_fan
 

DSQ

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CaroLiza_fan

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OK, so there has been a major upheaval to the roadmap for easing restrictions in Southern Ireland. Instead of having 5 phases, there will now be 4. A lot of things have been brought forward to 29[SUP]th[/SUP] June, including the resumption of sports.

Here is RTÉ's story about the changes to the roadmap:

https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0619/1148521-ireland-easing-restrictions/

Now, we all know how there are no permanent ice rinks Down South. But, if there were, I would guess that the relevant section of the story for ice skating would be "Culture/recreation", as ice rinks are indoors.

Here is RTÉ's story specifically about the return of sports:

https://www.rte.ie/sport/other-sport/2020/0619/1148457-all-sport-set-to-resume-from-29-june/

As you would expect, ice skating is not specifically mentioned in the story. It mostly talks about the Big 3 sports - football, rugby and Gaelic sports. However, there is an interesting part about National Governing Bodies being a ble to apply for resiliance funding. So, I hope the ISAI would be able to avail of that.

As for this side of the border, there is no word yet about sports resuming. Or about when the Dundonald Ice Bowl will re-open.

The Ice Bowl's website said to go to their Facebook page for updates, so I did. However, most of the posts in recent months have nothing to do with the ice rink. They are just general leisure posts. At the start of the week, they posted a link to a survey that the council are carrying out into the re-opening of leisure centres. When you go through the questions, although the Ice Bowl is included in this, there is no reference at all to the ice facilities there. And there have been a lot of people replying to the post complaining about this not being included.

When I went to the Dundonald Ice Skating Club's Facebook page, they also have a link to the survey. And when posting the link, they complained about the ice facilities not even being mentioned.

I don't know about anybody else, but I'm getting concerned about this. The lack of mention of the ice facilities on both the Ice Bowl's Facebook page and the council's survey is very strange. With there being proposals about redeveloping the Ice Bowl (see this post that I put up back in October), could the council be considering not re-opening the existing rink at all? :eek:

If the council are thinking like this, it would be a disaster for the sport on the whole of this island. So, I hope I'm just reading too much into things.

CaroLiza_fan

EDIT: I just found a copy of the plans for the new complex:

https://www.theicebowl.com/uploads/activities/DIIB_-_A1_Consultation_Boards_(FINAL).pdf
 

DSQ

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They couldn’t use COVID-19 as an excuse to not reopen, that’s to cruel.

My rink in London Queensways is opening soon but you have to prebook your ice time.
 

DSQ

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How quickly things change... for skating for a while now unfortunately.

My coach sent me this petition (link: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/307146) but the government did actually give a very reasonable response.

I think if there was a compromise to be made, if only for training for the professionals!
 

fzztsimmons

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It's a tough one, because I understand why indoor exercise venues should be the last place to open, yet it seems unfair when there is so much non social-distancing going on and people mingling, hugging, shaking hands left right and centre when I'm out. I train at a circus and I miss it so so much and we have no indication of when training will be allowed because much like ice rinks it is an indoor venue and relies on revenue from community classes which maximises the number of people in a class.

Though considering elite athletes however have been allowed to return to training in both England and Wales (and assuming Scotland as well), I'm surprised why at least our top level skaters haven't been able to get back on the ice as they have in other countries. Are they not including figure skaters among the elite athletes? I can't see anything in the government guidance that would mean they would not be eligible.
 

DSQ

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They probably don’t consider them elite athletes unfortunately. :(

I though the rink was open in Dundee but I think I was mistaken.
 

CaroLiza_fan

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They couldn’t use COVID-19 as an excuse to not reopen, that’s to cruel.

I wouldn't put anything past the politicians over here. If they can see a way to save a few pennies in the short term, even if it means losing out on lots of pounds in the long run, they'll take it.

To be honest, if I look at it without my figure skating fan glasses on, I can kinda see why keeping the rink closed would make sense. I don't know how much skating clubs pay to to hire a rink, but I would imagine that if would not cover the costs of keeping the rink open. That's fine if the rink is generating additional income from the general public using it. But, even if the rinks are allowed to open for public skating, I fear there will be enough people turning up to make it viable.

Although there is no confirmation yet about when the Dundonald rink will re-open, ice rinks are specifically mentioned in the lastest announcement about the easing of restrictions in Northern Ireland. Here is the story from BBC News NI:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-53154830

So, the ice rinks can re-open on 7[SUP]th[/SUP] August.

Meanwhile, here is a story from BBC Sport NI that is specifically about the resumption of sport:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/northern-ireland/53180840

It says that elite athletes can start training indoors from 29[SUP]th[/SUP] June. However, it adds:

"Athletes classed as elite include Olympians, Paralympians, professional rugby and football players and cricketers."

So, where does this leave figure skaters?

None of the figure skaters from this island have competed at the Olympics in the past, and only two have a slim chance of doing it in Beijing (assuming it happens) - Sam McAllister and Conor Stakelum. Sam may be from NI, but he lives and trains in England. So, he will come under whatever is happening in England. Conor is at home in Dublin, but he normally trains in Scotland. So, I don't know what will happen with him.

If he is not able to return to Scotland, it will be interesting to see if Conor will be able to come up to Dundonald to train. At the moment, the restrictions Down South mean that you can only travel within your own county, or 20km from where you live. From Monday (29[SUP]th[/SUP]), all travel restrictions within the country will be lifted (see the link to the RTÉ News story near the top of my previous post). However, any of the stories I have read have not made it clear whether travelling to the North will be OK.

That said, the BBC News NI story that I linked to earlier in this post says that Northern swimmers have been travelling to Dublin to train. So, you would like to think that this would be reciprocated.

My rink in London Queensways is opening soon but you have to prebook your ice time.

Ah, so you're not home at the moment. I was going to ask you if there is any update as to what's happening with the rinks in Scotland. After all, despite what the governing body may think, Scotland is where the heart of British figure skating is.

Whatever is happening in the various parts of these islands, I think it is safe to say that if competitive skaters can't resume training until August, then that is 2020 written off for them. Even if there are competitions before the New Year (which I very much doubt anyway), the skaters won't be anywhere near peak condition after such a long lay off and such a short time back training.

CaroLiza_fan
 

DSQ

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I am in Scotland right now actually! But there’s no information on Murryfield yet unfortunately. We seem to be following England when it comes to opening things up, if perhaps a week or two delayed.
 

kolyadafan2002

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How quickly things change... for skating for a while now unfortunately.

My coach sent me this petition (link: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/307146) but the government did actually give a very reasonable response.

I think if there was a compromise to be made, if only for training for the professionals!

If US politics are anything to go by, the government's response means "We have messed up but we won't go back on what we did. We will pretend that the science allows us to open them a couple weeks later to appease those that signed the petition."
 

CaroLiza_fan

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I am in Scotland right now actually!

Ah, sorry about that. I assumed that since you were talking about a London rink, that you weren't in Scotland. :eek::

What was it that my history teacher said when telling us not to assume things? Something about donkeys, wasn't it... :p

As a side point, I am so glad that you have a rink that is local to you when you are in London. I don't know how many rinks there currently are in the capital, but I do know that an awful lot have closed over the years due to the land being worth a lot to developers. So, you are very fortunate.

But there’s no information on Murryfield yet unfortunately. We seem to be following England when it comes to opening things up, if perhaps a week or two delayed.

I'm sure you've all worked this out by now, but I feel very strongly that England is in too big a rush to get everything opened up again. Scotland is being very wise to wait that bit longer. Apart from everything else, it means you can see how things are progressing in the rest of the British Isles, and make adjustments based on what you see.

We used to have that advantage too. For a long time there, NI was the most cautious part of this archipelago when it came to easing the restrictions. But then the businesses and the media started putting so much pressure on the politicians that they speeded things up. The result is that we are now at roughly the same place as England. Which makes me nervous.

So, well done to you guys for standing your ground and continuing to go at your own pace.

CaroLiza_fan
 

DSQ

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Looks like British Ice Skating got special dispensation to get some skaters skating again (link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCJw4mXJ-oa/?igshid=biyph3wd7d5b)

“ Performance Skaters Return to the Ice - 02/07/2020 Following Government Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance, British Ice Skating are pleased to announce a small number of the Performance Squad Athletes are back on the Ice. Thanks to Bradford Ice Rink for facilitating this and accommodating all the athletes in a safe environment. We are working hard with all rinks to support all our Ice Skating Family to get back on the ice.”
 

Dreamer57

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Is that PJ and Danielle I can see on the ice?

I'm glad that they can start training again!
 

Harriet

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Is that PJ and Danielle I can see on the ice?

I'm glad that they can start training again!

Graham Newberry posted to Instagram earlier than he's back on ice now too, and very happy about it. Apparently all his off-ice training on roller blades helped to keep his skills up quite well!
 

CaroLiza_fan

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Looks like British Ice Skating got special dispensation to get some skaters skating again (link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCJw4mXJ-oa/?igshid=biyph3wd7d5b)

“ Performance Skaters Return to the Ice - 02/07/2020 Following Government Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance, British Ice Skating are pleased to announce a small number of the Performance Squad Athletes are back on the Ice. Thanks to Bradford Ice Rink for facilitating this and accommodating all the athletes in a safe environment. We are working hard with all rinks to support all our Ice Skating Family to get back on the ice.”

Now that is a pleasant surprise.

It was only 4 days ago that speed skater (and former figure skater) Elise Christie was giving off about not being able to train. So, given that the government is only interested in funding people who are capable of winning Olympic medals, and Elise does fall into that category, I wonder if somebody actually took on board what she was saying.

Here's the story on the BBC Sport website:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-sports/53210534

I really hope that the video can be viewed internationally, because she talks a lot of sense in it.

CaroLiza_fan
 

litenkyckling

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Lewis Gibson shared this GoFundMe on Instagram yesterday: Glasgow Ice Centre

This is being led by the curlers, since Braehead has closed their curling rink but to make the project viable they are planning on building a multi sport ice centre in Glasgow. I think this would be a wonderful thing, since it's Scotland's largest city and already has some great sports facilities. Also I am biased, but whatever. Here is the link to their twitter if anyone is interested!
 
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