ICE IS NICE
Welcome to the Littleport Ice Stadium Project!
Littleport - because it’s the historical home of ice speed skating in the UK.
Ice Stadium - because it’s not just an ice rink or ice arena.
Project - because it’s a work in progress
The Littleport Ice Stadium will be only the 32nd fully enclosed indoor 400 metre long track for ice speed skating in the world; on a par with the Pettitt Centre in Milwaukee, USA, or Thialf in the Netherlands!
It will be the only international size Bandy pitch in England!
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 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.
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.
The sport of Bandy - the forerunner of ice hockey - 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!
Even the recreational use of an ice pad is not the same as a slow cruise around a 400 metre long oval.
There must be room however, 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 any of those previously mentioned ice disciplines.
A 100 metre long by 50 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.