It's so sad it has to come to this. Ryde arena was such a good community asset where young teens like myself could get along, mingle and become friends with adults from different decades, a place where we all have the same feelings and dedication for ice hockey. Where else could something amazing like that happen? I know hockey wasn't all that the rink was about but to some people like myself it felt like it was. Ever since I was born I had been down that rink watching and supporting teams that my dad, Mike Palin was in (he’s been there since the first day those doors opened). I have seen him play with the under 19’s, the Wightlink Tigers and now the Wightlink Buccaneers. I have loved every single part of this. It now feels like that part of my life has just disappeared from right under my feet.
When I look at my parent’s circle of friends I realize the majority of their closest friends are all ice rink related. These people have played a big part in my life and will continue to do so, all thanks to Ryde Arena. I have also made some great friends myself, whilst I was helping out on the Tigers stall, selling their programs and going on away trips. Here you are all together supporting the same thing, it just feels like you are one big family and you stick together whatever happens. I now feel so disappointed and upset that someone's selfish greed can stop all this happening. They didn't care about the jobs, the figure skaters, the ice hockey teams or general fun skaters who now have lost their opportunity to have some fun and work as a team. Sadly my baby brother will not be able to experience the same joy the rink has given me.
I feel all that AEW thinks about is money, money, money— they clearly have no heart and don't want to help the younger generations, adults and older people stay together. There is already so much segregation in our communities. This was one of the things that brought it all back together. It's such a great loss to the island and I really hope we can get this rink open again, as I can’t imagine what my life will be like without it. I am sure many others feel the same.