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Ice Ice Baby

Published on January 18th 2006.

At last, two years after Altrincham ice rink closed down, those of us itching to get back on the ice will be able to do so this summer, when its long awaited replacement will open its doors.

Since 2003, keen skaters have had to travel 80 miles to North Wales to practice, and the rest of us have just had to do without. Not that I’m a skating freak or anything, but it is always nice to have the option, especially when you live in a city as big as Manchester.

Saying that, the tired old ice rink at Altrincham was looking a bit worse for wear, and going there was sometimes a bit risky – you could never be sure whether it would be the building falling down or the gangs of chavs that were going to get you first. Yes, chavs do ice skate. Scary, I know.

The new Olympic-sized rink will be housed in a portable wooden building on Oakfield Road. The building, which will be built in Finland by a company called Kevythalli Oy and transported to Altrincham, will last for five years before being replaced by a permanent structure.

A spokesman for Kevythalli Oy said: "The external cladding consists of metal and wood. It's a very simple and highly-insulated structure which can be easily transported. They are very popular as multi-purpose arenas and ice rinks in Finland.

"Now we have the go-ahead, we are hoping to start construction work in the next couple of weeks."

The new ice rink will be home to the Manchester Phoenix ice hockey team, as well as being used for ice dancing, recreational skating, speed skating and junior and recreational ice hockey.

So dust down your ice skates and get your glittery lycra outfits at the ready in time for July, when you’ll be able to cool down on the ice and tone up at the same time. Just watch out for those chavs…

Jayne Robinson
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