Ice skating here to stay

Whyalla residents who are already proficient on the ice, and those who still haven’t had a chance to get their skates on, will be given until the end of May to try out the ice skating rink in Westlands.

SMILES ALL ROUND: Emma and Lara Kelly enjoy the ice skating rink, which will be staying in Whyalla until the end of May.

SMILES ALL ROUND: Emma and Lara Kelly enjoy the ice skating rink, which will be staying in Whyalla until the end of May.

The rink, owned by Winter Magic Ice Skating, was scheduled to close last Sunday but its stay has been extended by the Whyalla City Council and Westlands Shopping Centre.

Whyalla Youth Development Coordinator Gail Rostig said the council were ‘very excited’ that the ice rink would be here to stay.

“We could see the need in the community, and Winter Magic said they had been having an awesome time here,” she said.

“They told us they have the capacity and resources available to stay for longer, and we’ve had a wonderful reception from everyone who has been ice skating.”

Winter Magic Iceskating business owner Michael Lalic has said the ice skating rink has been performing strongly over the past month.

“People have come through here every day, they come from all around the state,” Mr Lalic said.

“The kids love it, and the parents too.”

Mr Lalic said the rink has been extremely popular, with a majority of sessions completely full.

“Why shouldn’t the kids growing up here have access to this?” he said.

“Just because they don’t live in Victoria or New South Wales does not mean they should miss out on ice skating.”

Mr Lalic said Winter Magic had been looking at an avenue to continue the rink in Westlands,

“We don’t mind staying at all, it’s good to be here,” he said.

Cheryl Crane from Port Augusta said the ice skating rink was a great family attraction.

“We thought it would be a good opportunity to come down and have some fun and it’s been amazing,” she said.

“I’ve had a lot of friends come down and they have raved about it, so if it’s staying open, we’ll be coming back.”

Ms Crane had brought down her two children with her, and all three were out on the ice.

“It brought back a lot of memories, I haven’t been on the ice for about 30 years and it was amazing to get back on there,” she said.

“Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Pirie never usually have anything like this, they have skate parks but nothing for everybody else.”

“There’s kids from all ages on here, it’s been a fantastic thing to see and if it stays open we’ll be back.”

The rink has been accessible to all ages, with sessions lasting just over an hour.

Ice skating in Whyalla was originally an idea by the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), who worked together to make local ice skating a reality.

The rink is one of the first big ideas to come out of the YAC, which was formed earlier this year.