A Short History of Recreational Ice Hockey at Ryde Arena

Ryde Arena opened on the 20th May 1991. Although our ice pad was too small for premier hockey it was agreed by the British Ice Hockey Association that: “It looks as though we will allow English League One Ice Hockey at Ryde”.  

Ryde Raiders – later Vectis (TSB) Warriors

Ryde Arena opened on the 20th May 1991. Although our ice pad was too small for premier hockey it was agreed by the British Ice Hockey Association that “It looks as though we will allow English League One Ice Hockey at Ryde”.  

 

When the builders Gaul went under a short time later, and the proposed ex-Peterborough player-coach Steve Rattle disappeared from the scene, it was suggested that a certain long term hockey fanatic, Mick Green be asked to assist.  Mick assembled a squad of ex-Southampton and Bournemouth players and started the Solent Vikings. The first game, a friendly, was on a hot August the 31st 1991 versus Streatham Redskins (now, of course the Redhawks). The Vikings lost 2 – 10. On the 5th October 1991 the Vikings won their first League game 18 – 12 versus Solihull Barons. Captain of the Barons was Dan Sweeney.

 

The Vikings had 2 “imports” in Sean Murphy and Dave McGahan from Canada and dual national Nick Rothwell. Nick Rothwell started coaching recreational hockey, for all ages, abilities and genders during that summer of 1991 and before long these players had formed a team initially calling themselves the Ryde Raiders, changing this to Vectis Warriors later in 1992.

 

The first ever recreational Ice Hockey game was held at Ryde Arena on 1st February 1992 when the Ryde Raiders played the Royal Navy Sentinels and won 8 – 7. 

The Wight Dinos

In 1994 a group of the older skaters suggested a senior team and "The Wight Dinos" over 30s team was born.

Over the years more than 100 people of all ages and abilities have played for the Dinos. Some have gone on to other teams, some have, reluctantly had to retire from the sport, although still enjoying watching others play.

Highlights of the Dinos' Years

Regular games, both home and away were played each year against teams such as Peterborough Rink Rats, Westminster Statesmen, Nationwide Knights, MiltonKeynes Jesters and Basingstoke Hyenas.

In 1999 the team travelled to Cherbourg, France for a weekend, playing two games against the local team Les Higgins, a superb trip.  A millennium “round robin” tournament was organised played over the weekend of 11/12 March 2000. Dino’s hosted Les Higgins from France, the Westminster Statesmen from London and a team of Detroit Firemen from the USA.  A mini-tournament took place in 2001.  In the Dino’s 10th anniversary year another tournament was held. Teams were Nationwide Knights from Swindon, Basingstoke Hyenas and Westminster Statesmen. A total of 69 players took part all staying on the Island, with their families, for the weekend.       

With a lot of the Dino’s retiring, new teams gradually took their place which have now been in existence for some time, so the story and the sport carries on...

We are grateful to Pat Short for providing this Short History of Ryde Arena Recreational Ice Hockey

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We would like to thank Wightlink for their continued support, Ryde Town Council for their generous grant, Ryde Rotary Club and Ryde Slide for their donations and all those helping us to try to save Ryde Arena for our community.