Families and Winter Olympians put on skates in Docklands
New support from the Victorian government will boost family fun on the ice and training opportunities for Olympic athletes this winter, with the O’Brien Icehouse in Docklands stepping up operations ahead of the school holidays.
The government provided an injection of $ 2 million for the installation of Docklands – Australia’s premier ice sports and recreation center.
The Double Rink Icehouse attracts over 200,000 visitors a year. It hosts over 100 events in Melbourne annually, including semi-professional ice hockey matches featuring the Melbourne Ice and Melbourne Mustangs, as well as national and international events and competitions.
It is also the training base of figure skaters Holly Harris and Jason Chan, who recently competed for Australia at the 2021 World Championships, curling champion Dean Hewitt and a junior speed skating team seeking to emulate the gold medal performance by Steven Bradbury. .
The ice house faced significant pressure from the pandemic, but the new support allowed operators to re-ice the second ice rink, which serves as a training and competition venue.
Government support makes the Icehouse a key training site for the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia and the home of the Ice and Mustangs clubs. The first rink will continue to be used for public skating.
The investment triggers the return of the popular School and Community Discount program, available to all Victorians, and allows O’Brien Icehouse to look ahead and secure new national and international events such as Disney on ice.
The support will lock down administration, training and high performance facilities for ice sports in Melbourne for the next six years, including ice skating, figure skating, ice hockey, speed skating and curling.
It also provides a base for Victoria’s Olympic Winter Champions as they prepare for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in February, locks down commercial rentals, and guarantees access to facilities at sports organizations based in the center. .
As stated by Acting Minister of Tourism, Sports and Major Events Jaala Pulford
âThe O’Brien Cooler is important on many levels: as a venue for recreation and events, as a competitive stadium and as a training site for our top Winter Olympic athletes. “
“This support will help Victorians looking for a fun activity this winter and competitors who use the Icehouse in the serious pursuit of athletic excellence.”
âIt will bring more people to Docklands, helping businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic. “
As stated by O’Brien Icehouse Executive Director Athol Hodgetts
“This support secures the long term future of all ice sports in Victoria – the Icehouse can continue to produce future Olympians and World Champions at one of the best such facilities in the Southern Hemisphere.”