News @ AsiaOne

Local skaters get timely Olympic boost

The first Olympic-sized ice rink in Singapore is located at Jurong East's newest shopping mall, JCube. -TNP
Nicholas Neo

Thu, Apr 05, 2012
The New Paper

National development team short-track speed skaters from left: Matthew Mak, 14 and Terence Chew, 24 and national team short-track speed skaters Lucas Ng, 23, and Lim June Liang, 23, in a demonstration held at The Rink.

In the past, local short-track speed skater Lucas Ng has had to go to China to train due to the lack of training facilities in Singapore.

But with the opening of The Rink at JCube, the 23-year-old, the first skater to represent Singapore at last year's Asian Winter Games, will finally enjoy the comfort of training in his home country.

The ice rink, located at Jurong East's newest shopping mall, JCube, was officially opened yesterday.

The new 60m-by-30m facility, the first Olympic-sized ice rink in Singapore, will give Ng the chance to fulfil his Winter Olympics aspirations.

He said: "Now that we have an Olympic-sized rink, it's the same (as China's facilities). Singapore is my home ground, where I'm based, so having a rink to train is better."

Ng said that he will be working hard to improve on his personal best timing of 48.91 seconds in the 500m event of last year's Asian Winter Games competition.

"Right now, the Singapore Ice Skating Association (Sisa) is planning and organising our programme and we're definitely looking to train hard ," said Ng.

Max Ko, who is part Sisa's figure skating development team, is also excited about the new rink. Ko said: "I am very happy that we have our first Olympic-sized rink. It's spacious and now I can train more in that sense."

The operating hours for The Rink, which has a 460-seater gallery, are from 10.30am to 9.30pm on weekdays and until 11.45pm on weekends.

Sisa president Sonja Chong is happy that her skaters finally have a good ice rink to train on after an eight-year wait.

She said: "This arena will also allow us to become members of the International Skating Union. So, definitely, this is a dream come true."

The rink is not exclusive to figure skaters and speed skaters. Skaters from the Singapore Ice Hockey Association (Siha) will also be able to use its facilities.

Darcy McColl, secretary of the Siha, said: "With the new rink, we will be able to hold international tournaments. It's a big step forward."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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