If you missed BBC’s Inside Out programme last night, there’s still time to see the incredible story of the Isle of Wight synchronised skaters and Ryde Arena.
At the top of the programme, presenter Jon Cuthill tells the story of the
Island’s award-winning syncrhonised skaters, who, for the last two and half years since the ice rink was closed, get up at 3am most weeks to travel to the mainland to train on ice.
Determined and committed
The commitment and determination of the skaters and their families shines through, with one skater commenting,
“We do it because we love it so much, being in the team is like having a second family.”
The weekly travel week, taking the 4am ferry across the water to train and then returning back to the Island in time for breakfast is tiring and hard work for the teenagers, many of them preparing for their GCSE exams.
Leader-holders AEW UK
Jon explains that investment company AEW UK paid £1,000,00 for the lease in 2014. As previously reported, the company say they closed the building after the rink operator failed to make rent and insurance payments.
He goes on to sday the company plans to now sell up and seek for a change of use with a For Sale tag of £3m+.
A local doctor has put in an offer of £800,000 (subject to contract) to buy the rink. She tells Jon that she recognises it needs a considerable amount of investment, but says, “managed well, it would be a fantastic community asset”.
AEW rejected the offer saying it had a duty to act responsibly with its clients capital.
Seely: AEW “nasty corporate bullies”
Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely also appears on the programme stating that, “AEW’s behaviour is disgraceful and reprehensible”.
“These nasty corporate bullies should be ashamed of themselves.
“They either bought this place as a mistake because they didn’t do their sums or they bought it to bully the council in to a change of use. Either way it hasn’t worked out.”
Seely: AEW’s attitude “high-handed, arrogant and dismissive”
He went on to say,
“They have a duty to keep this place in decent nick and they are not doing so. They shut the ice trink and kicked out the kids as you can see, which I think is a pretty disreputable thing to do and their attitude is high-handed, arrogant and dismissive.”
The segment ends on a high with the four synchronised skating teams coming come from the Championships with two second places, one fourth and one sixth! Well done to all the skaters, their coaches and family who continue to offer unstinting support.
The programme can be watched again via BBC iPlayer for 29 days (from today’s date).
Image: © BBC Inside Out