‘Get behind rink campaign’

08th February 2014  Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry''Northern Ireland's Jenna McCorkell competes for Great Britain in the Ladies short programme during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The team event was held in the Iceberg Skating Palace in the Olympic Park.
08th February 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry''Northern Ireland's Jenna McCorkell competes for Great Britain in the Ladies short programme during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The team event was held in the Iceberg Skating Palace in the Olympic Park.

As we revealed last week, a Facebook campaign has been set up in a bid to bring an ice rink to the North Coast.

The page is gaining new followers daily, and has attracted some high profile backers, including our very own Olympic ice skater Jenna McCorkell.

Speaking to The Times this week, Jenna revealed how her interest in the sport developed, and how she feels children in the area are missing out.

“I think it’s great loss that kids in the Coleraine.

“I was lucky enough to have the ice facilities at the Jet Centre when I was growing up. If this hadn’t been available I would almost certainly never have achieved what I have within the sport.

“I started skating when I was just seven years old. I remember seeing a picture of a little girl in a sparkly dress holding a trophy, and I knew I had to do this sport. I pestered my parents and they eventually took me to try it out.

“I was hooked from the start, it was a fun sport and something that was a little bit different,” said Jenna.

Urging local people to get behind the campaign, the former Olympic skater said: “Everyone should get behind this campaign - and support it in any way that they can.

“An ice rink can only be a positive for the area.

“Not only will attract people to the area, but there would be huge economic benefits, not to mention the creation of jobs.”

With over 3,000 people already behind the campaign, Martin Darragh, who set up the page says he has been contact by local businesses who are in support of an ice rink for the area.

One business owner who posted on the site said: “As a business owner I feel that the return of a rink can only be a good thing. It would result in the creation of jobs within the rink itself and spin off businesses such as cafes, burger bars, skate shops etc.

“From a community point of view it would give kids somewhere to go in the evenings, promotes sports and activity and it would be somewhere different for family fun days.”

What are your views?

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