The British Virgin Islands will be welcoming its first-ever synthetic ice-skating rink which will be part of the Virgin Islands Search & Rescue’s (VISAR) Winter Wonderland, hosted by the Cyril B Romney Tortola Pier Park next month.
This was announced by VISAR’s Executive Creative Director, Julie Schneider at a media briefing on Thursday. She said the rink will open from Saturday, November 28 and till Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
“This has been in the works for the last 16 to 18 months. The board thought long and hard about whether this was the appropriate time to bring the rink to the BVI and, hands-down, we also have to do it for the community. We needed something that we could be excited about, that we could bring the family to, we can be active,” Schneider said.
She added: “I found a company called Glice and they are out of Switzerland and they make synthetic ice skating rinks and that means that there is no electricity, there are no power venues so it’s good for the environment and it’s really good for ice hockey, so you can actually skate on it.”
For both kids and adults
Schneider also said the rink will be accessible to both children and adults with reasonable rates to be offered.
“The little ones that have never gone skating before; we have little rails that they can hold onto the walkers. Of course there will be the railings so if you can try it out … For 30 minutes on the ice it’s $10 and I think that is a reasonable amount. We will also have a little playing village set up so you can get some snacks, you can get some VISAR merchandise to support us even further,” she explained.
With COVID-19 introducing a new form of daily living in the territory, Schneider said the necessary COVID-19 protocols will be in place with several sanitisation stations at the various entrances. There will also be personnel on the ground to ensure that persons are abiding by the relevant protocols.
“Because of COVID, you will have thirty minutes on the ice for the change-over-time, which we built in order to adhere to the COVID restrictions. So everything will be sanitised, the boots will be sanitised, the rink area will be sanitised, everything will be sanitised within that time frame.”
She further said VISAR worked with law firm, Travers Thorp Alberga (Ingrid Scatcliff-Moses) for their liability release in the event of any injury.
The law firm also assisted in preparing a Skaters Code of Conduct that people will have to adhere to while at the facility.
“We will be carrying a hefty liability policy with Caribbean Insurers and we will be completely covered in the aspect. We will also have two people on the ice with the kids and with the adults helping them, if they fall, we will pick them back up. We’re also a medical background organisation so we will have a first aid station right there,” Schnieder explained.
Job opportunities and experience for students
The VISAR executive also said she has been working with the Department of Education and the Department of Labour to provide various job opportunities for both residents and students.
She said the event will have a mixture of VISAR volunteers, community volunteers, high school volunteers and paid staff.
“We want to work with both departments to make sure that we are hiring people for the ice-skating rink that will get some hands-on experience in the workforce. We are going to focus on customer service skills and build upon that,” she stated.
“We are also going to bring in some kids that need community service hours for graduation and for me that is really important that if we can get to the kids when they’re younger and start instilling into them workplace ethics and how to be good customer service,” Schneider stated.
Additionally, the executive director said there will be two different options to facilitate private businesses or families who intend to have private events at the rink.
“If a corporate company wants to come to us to do a marketing event, they can rent out the rink for an hourly charge, there is a two-hour minimum, and then we can talk about drinks from the tenants here in the pier park,” Schneider stated.
“They can put up all of their branding and fliers and then they can come in with their staff and talk to everyone and the rink and do a little show and tell about the products and really kind of take over the rink and inform the community about what they’re doing and what their product is,” she added.
For private family events, the second option will involve the closing down of the facility for exclusive access to the rink.
The opening hours will be from 2 pm to 7 pm on weekdays and from 2 pm to 10 pm on weekends.
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