ICE IS NICE


Welcome to the Littleport Ice Stadium Project! 


Littleport - because it’s the historical home of ice sports - speed skating and bandy in the UK.  

Ice Stadium - because it’s not just a standard ice rink or ice arena.

Project - because it’s a work in progress



The Littleport Ice Stadium will not only be the world's 32nd fully enclosed indoor 400 metre long track for ice speed skating on a par with the Pettitt Centre in Milwaukee, USA, or Thialf in the Netherlands!

It will be the only full-size size Bandy pitch in England on a par with the superb ABB Syd Arena in Vasteras, Sweden!


The UK has a reasonably popular skating scene for all the ice disciplines – but only those that can be contained in a 26/30 metre by 56/60 metre ice pad.  Short track speed skating has had some success, with a few clubs making use of usual ice rink facilities, as have the figure, dance and synchro.


Ice hockey clubs and curling clubs are also well suited by rinks of average dimensions.


Historically, ice sport was confined - and restricted - by the dictates of the thermometer!  When the winters were harder and the ice was plentiful, particularly on the fens of East Anglia, skating was not just fun it was also a way of winning prizes of money and food when working the land became impossible in the winter. The two disciplines were speed skating and bandy. Bandy is the old English name for 'curved' and it's played with a curved stick and ball. Speed skating was a handy skill for traversing large swathes of countryside, allowing anyone who could to visit friends and relatives or do a bit of business where otherwise the way would be impassable.


In recent times there has been a resurgence of interest in long track speed skating – possibly as a result of television coverage at the Winter Olympics... The fact that there is available ice at local rinks may well go some way towards fulfilling the would-be speed skater’s desire to imagine themselves flying round a long track as they negotiate a short one - but it will always fall short of reality.


There is also a renewed interest in the sport of Bandy - the forerunner of ice hockey, and even football,  that also originated in the fens of East Anglia too!  Very similar to grass hockey and football, it requires a similar sized pitch - and there will be one in the Littleport Ice Stadium!


The pictures on this page are of the old skaters, who were all speed skaters and bandy players, and illustrates the remarkable advances that have been made in this 21st century! 


The planned ice stadium will enhance so many lives in so many ways. A clean and healthy option for everyone - and a benefit to its immediate community area - and England too.


Even the recreational use of an ice pad is not the same as a slow cruise around a 400 metre long oval. Or the opportunity for some fun and games on a lake-sized ice sheet as big as a soccer pitch!

There must be room, both literally and figuratively, for skating enjoyment of every kind for everyone who wants to experience the joy of being on the ice, whether that remains for pleasure only or whether it becomes a desire to excel and perhaps compete in long track ice speed skating or in a bandy team.


A central 100 metre long by 60 metre wide sheet of ice will allow for some great skating experiences, whether taking part or watching!


Of course all skaters’ needs, whatever their level, or physical or mental ability, will be met as a consequence of the primary inspiration for the Littleport Ice Stadium Project, and that includes the social meeting and refreshment areas, (non-alcoholic) as well as providing coaching rooms with the necessary technological equipment for elite participants. The whole facility will be wheelchair friendly and totally accessible.


Indeed the motivating spirit behind the formation of the Littleport Ice Stadium Project is to provide a world class facility that would allow long track speed skating to flourish in the UK as it did when the winters were much colder on the fens of East Anglia, and in Littleport in particular where the first deliberately prepared ‘ice ground’ was provided by local benefactor and philanthropist, Thomas Peacock in 1892. 
And equally it is going to bring back the hugely popular team sport of Bandy in this specially constructed indoor venue!
Plans have now  been drawn by the distinguished architectural designer, Ian Rose, and these are available for investors, for public interest, and also for scrutiny by local and county planning authorities etc!
The project is supported by the National Ice Skating Association who made their statement of support in its early days, by the Fen Centre, and by the England Bandy Association, that hopes to see its logo emblazoned on the outside of the ice stadium when it gets built!  www.englandbandyfederation.co.uk  The international players and clubs world-wide are also fully supportive of the English resurgence encapsulated by the ice stadium, represented by the Federation of International Bandy (FIB)

 
 
 
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