Thursday, April 25, 2024

Paradice Ice Skating Botany celebrates 25 years

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Paradice Ice Skating’s 25th anniversary celebrations will see festivities kick off on Friday night with a highly-anticipated Retro Rave. Times photo Wayne Martin

One of Botany’s most-loved businesses, Paradice Ice Skating, celebrates its 25th anniversary this week.

The business has generated millions in the local economy and been a springboard to international success for athletes.

To mark this amazing milestone, Paradice will celebrate by inviting the community to lace up their skates and glide back in time with a retro-themed weekend of events.

Festivities kick off on Friday night with a highly-anticipated Retro Rave, complete with a live DJ spinning tracks from the 90s, setting the stage for a weekend filled with nostalgia, vibrant music and cool vibes.

The nostalgia continues into the weekend, with both Saturday and Sunday daytime sessions featuring 90s hits, on-ice games and prizes and a professional face painter to add a splash of colour and excitement to the festive atmosphere.

Saturday night’s public session features a 90s disco and skaters are encouraged to dig through their wardrobes for their best 90s attire and be in to win a prize.

“It is more than just celebrating the rink’s anniversary. It also about celebrating the community that has grown with us,” says rink manager Scott Wildridge.

“We can’t wait to see everyone, young and old, joining in the fun, dressing up and enjoying the music that brings back so many memories.”

Wildridge explains that when Paradice Botany was built, it was the first Olympic-sized indoor ice rink in New Zealand and the most advanced ice rink in the Southern Hemisphere, fitted out by an expert team from Canada, featuring dasher boards and tempered glass for ice hockey.

“It took six months to build,” he says.

“Over the years, millions of people have come through the door and contributed to the local economy in many ways including employment, especially young people starting out in their first job. Many a budding romance has also started at Paradice Botany!

“The family entertainment centre has become a hangout for youth, we’ve also developed the Ice Sports Community, with the Allegro Ice Dance Club, the AIFSC Auckland Ice Figure Skating Club, Botany Swarm ice hockey team all calling Paradice Botany home.

“The ice rink also runs a Skating Academy for budding skaters from four years right through to adults’ coffee club classes.

“Over the years, Paradice Botany has hosted national and international ice hockey tournaments including sell-out crowds for the trans-Tasman clash between NZ’s Ice Blacks vs Australia’s Mighty Roos in 2023.

“We’ve also hosted national and international figure skating competitions including Oceania Figure Skating championship in 2024.

“We’ve also grown champions including many Ice Blacks players (men’s national ice hockey team) and Ice Ferns (women’s national ice hockey team) and recently, athlete Yanhao (Dwayne) Li created history by winning New Zealand’s first ever Ice Figure Skating medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

“AIFSC’s Black Ice Synchro team competed in Poland at the Hevelius Cup and Scotland at the Trophy D’ecosse.

“Allegro’s Titanium Synchro team qualified for and competed in Switzerland at the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships.”

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