The Loss of Ryde Arena— it's not just about the young (A Pensioner's Story)

I am not a figure-skater, nor an ice hockey player. I did not work there. I have no children who use the rink to skate or play ice hockey, no grandchildren or great grandchildren who use the rink regularly either so why have I been going there regularly for over twenty years. How does losing the arena affect my health and well being?

I am a pensioner as is my partner. Every home game during the hockey season we have arrived at the rink early help set up tables etc before the start of the game. Running a merchandise table, helping to run a supporters club, selling raffle tickets etc to raise money to pay for the away travel for the Wightlink Raiders. My partner used to drive the players minibus to away games until he was 70 years old. I was secretary of the supporters club for many years and also secretary of the junior club. The team was the reason I packed up smoking as some years ago I said if they won the cup that year I would quit smoking. They won and I have never had a cigarette since.

It is so important to feel of use to the younger generation when you get older. It keeps your mind and body feeling and acting younger than it really is. There are many more like us that have done or still do things like this to support the figure skaters and ice hockey players so don't forget what we have lost too. It's not just about the young it's about the old too.

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.

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