VISAKHAPATNAM: Lack of a proper skating rink in the city is hindering the budding skaters to participate in the national and international championships.
The 20-year-old skating rink in Sivaji Park where most of the skaters are trained requires revamp because the rink has developed cracks and the gallery is dilapidated. Moreover, there is also a need to add a few amenities like drinking water kiosk, changing rooms, washrooms and pathways to facilitate skaters and for their escorts.
The Sivaji Park Skating Association had earlier presented a letter to the GVMC Commissioner seeking a total renovation of the rink, but nothing happened. Hence, the estimation was made by Vesmaco company of Italy and another letter was submitted on April 10 to the Commissioner after MLA Velagapudi Ramakrishna Babu and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu visited the rink a few months ago.
According to the association members, the Sivaji Park skating rink has witnessed an increase in the number of students every year. There are as many as 300-350 skaters who practice in the rink and the need of the hour is to provide them with basic facilities and a good rink. Usually it is parents, who out of interest, gather money for minimal works of the rink.
According to association secretary Mahendra, “The last national artistic event was held in 2011 and owing to the poor condition of the rink, no such skating events were organised.
The Roller Skating Federation of India wanted to organise the world selections in Visakhapatnam but the plan was dropped as the rink was not fit to hold such events. The international training camp was held in September this year but the skaters and coaches were not happy with the infrastructure and facilities.”
He also added that the estimated expenditure is Rs 3 crore and the Commissioner accepted the proposal and will soon sanction the fund shortly. The entire rink needs to be refurbished as per international standards and to encourage the budding skaters by providing them a good platform.
Speaking to Express, GVMC Commissioner M Hari Narayanan said, “Based on the request of the people to provide better quality skating rink, we are making necessary arrangements to cater to the demands of the people. Moreover, we are also looking to improve the entire park.”
The ongoing summer camp has got a good response and the Rising Star Summer Skating Championship is scheduled to be held on June 4 and the Artistic Skating Premiere League II will be held in July.
Things to be done
According to international standards, the rink should be rectangular in shape (30mX60m) but the present rink is oval in shape (25mX50m).
The stadium needs to be provided with a fabricated shade to protect audience from direct sunlight and rain.
A proper locker room or space to be assigned for accommodating skating equipment of the skaters.