On the Ice
Nottingham has a long tradition of ice skating stretching back many years
It started way back in 1895 with skating on the frozen River Trent to over 60 years of skating in the old Ice Stadium.
Now Nottingham has the UK's first centre of excellence in ice sports - The National Ice Centre.
First the Arena Rink was opened on the 1st April 2000 by Jayne Torvill and was followed by the opening of the Olympic Rink just a year later on 7th April 2001.
This made the National Ice Centre the first twin Olympic-sized (60m x 30m) ice rink facility in the UK.
It was the 80’s that really saw the glory days for British skating with Nottingham’s most famous couple Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean dominating the World and Olympic Championships.
In 1984, the Nottingham pair won Olympic gold medals in Sarajevo for their interpretation of Ravel’s Bolero. Later that year, they were the joint winners of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In 1994, they made a dramatic return to the Olympic stage in Lillehammer, Norway and took the bronze medal. Both Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean were awarded OBEs in 1999.
Their triumphs have inspired a whole new generation of youngsters into taking up ice sports.
The National Ice Centre now provides top class facilities and coaching staff for a whole range of ice sports from Free Skating and Ice Dance to Synchronized skating, ice hockey and Short Track Speed Skating.
The National Ice Skating Association (NISA) has designated the National Ice Centre as a Centre of Excellence for Short Track Speed Skating and it is home to the Great Britain Short Track Speed Skating squad. The Nottingham Panthers also train at the Centre and use the venue for their home games.
The short track speed skaters based in Nottingham are some of Britain’s brightest medal hopes for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Among them is Elise Christie, the first British woman ever to win a short track skating medal at a World Championships, and the former world record holding men’s relay team featuring two-time Olympian Jon Eley, World Cup medallists Paul Stanley and Richard Shoebridge, and Nottingham born European gold medallist Jack Whelbourne.
As well as boasting two Olympic sized ice pads the National Ice Centre is home to Capital FM Arena Nottingham. The arena is the East Midlands hottest concert venue hosting live music and sporting entertainment to audiences of up to 10,000 people.
The County of Nottinghamshire is proud of its long tradition of successes on ice and we’re sure you’ll be impressed with our excellent facilities. The National Ice Centre is the perfect place to spend time having fun on the ice.
Check out what’s happening at the National Ice Centre with regard to major ice sport events and competitions as well as skating lessons and public skating times on their website.