Olympic legends Jayne Torvill and Robin Cousins visit Sheffield as ice skating headquarters relocate
Sheffield has yet another feather in its sporting cap – as it is now the official home of British Ice Skating’s headquarters.
In a speech during the grand opening on Wednesday, National Ice Skating Association chief executive office Rob Jones said they have come a long way to make it a reality.
He said: "It is an exciting day for us. It's been an 18-month journey into the future for this sport and we have been so welcome here in Sheffield."
Two Olympic legends, Jayne Torvill and Robin Cousins who officiated the opening in a ribbon-cutting ceremony both agreed that Sheffield has excellent facilities for figure skating and ice skating and this will only open more doors of opportunity for future athletes.
Robin, who is 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics gold medalist, said: "Sheffield would help endorse other counties to bring in their skaters and give them the membership of the national governing body, which is now called British Ice Skating under the re-branded name.
"All the information gathered is available here and this means the accessibility of what is essentially available just needs to become much grander on a national scale."
Jayne, who is famous for winning ice dancing gold at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics, said: "In the past we've had some great programmes at the grassroots level but not enough in place to take people all the way.
"Hopefully with this facility, they will have people in place to just take that extra step."
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Five-time British national silver medallist Peter Hallam said the move would serve as a stepping stone to a better community.
He said: "The hub is just across the road from the iceSheffield and I'm from Sheffield and I have skated here since I was 8 and never skated anywhere else. To have this place here and just across the road is absolutely brilliant."
Deputy Lord Mayor Tony Downing also expressed his happiness over the move.
He said: "It's absolutely fantastic. The more sports we can get to Sheffield, the happier I'll be."
And Sheffield could be also be home to a 10-year-old figure skater who has travelled all the way from Gosport, Hampshire to take part in the Young Stars Competition that took place at iceSheffield.
His mother, Ruth Snook said: "The facility is amazing. We were talking about moving up here instead because it has better facility and a bigger rink."
Previously based in Nottingham, British Ice Skating became the latest major sporting governing to set its foot in Sheffield, joining GB Boxing, British Para Table Tennis, British Wheelchair Basketball England Netball, Badminton England and Goalball UK.