WITH an early August opening date expected for the new Leeds Ice Rink on Elland Road, people are being encouraged to start booking now for the facility’s skating and ice hockey training programmes.
Owners Planet Ice say the rink build is “progressing well” with the all-important pipework currently being installed, providing the foundation which will then enable the ice pad to be built.
Already, excitement is growing surrounding the city’s first-ever ice hockey team, the Leeds Chiefs, who will launch their inaugural campaign under player-coach Sam Zajac in mid-September when they compete in the new NIHL National league.
The Chiefs play in the UK’s second-tier against nine other teams, including Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Steeldogs and Hull Pirates, although there will be a lot more to the new rink than semi-professional ice hockey.
Our own Skate Excellence learning program is designed for all ages and abilities from five-years-old upwardsPlanet Ice’s Heather McDermott
As well as public skating sessions, the rink is offering various lessons for all ages and abilities through their Skate Excellence, Hockey Excellence and Show and Skate programs.
Heather McDermott, Planet Ice Leeds’s business development manager, said there were going to be various opportunities for the public to take to the ice, with the first six-week term of lessons scheduled to begin from Saturday, August 31 onwards.
“Our own Skate Excellence learning program is designed for all ages and abilities from five-years-old upwards,” said McDermott.
“It’s designed to be a fun and engaging progressive program and there will be skating aids available such as penguins and polar bears and gloves to make it easier.”
Children as young as 18 months old can also learn to skate through the rink’s Penguins classes.
Private lessons will also be available to skaters that have already gone through the Skate Excellence program with a number of resident coaches on hand to take skaters on to various levels.
Initially, there will be no competitive junior ice hockey at the rink, but the Hockey Excellence program will enable youngsters to get a foothold in the sport with the possibility of then joining the Chiefs Junior Academy.
“We are hoping that we may be able to have league teams at junior level in the next 12-18 months,” added McDermott. “But this will depend on the numbers coming through the hockey excellence program.”
For more information on how to book skating and ice hockey lessons at Planet Ice Leeds, as well as for days, times and pricings, log on HERE