Today Ice Sports Tasmania announced that the only ice rink in Tasmania has been sold and will be repurposed. At first glance , this is no big deal but then you think about the shattered dreams of our young people. The lost fun and happiness of trying to learn to ice skate at a friends birthday party. The lost physical and mental health benefits of young and old playing sport, getting out to have fun while exercising. And the death of a community.
Sports and recreation play an important role in our communities. They increase connectedness which has been shown to improve happiness. The physical benefits are self explanatory. So the loss of any sporting facility is not good news for the community. But in this instance, the loss of Tasmania's only ice rink is devastating for the ice sports community and the broader community.
Check out the film below, made by local talent Sophia Bender, to gain a better understanding of how important this facility is to the Tasmanian community.
Sam van Den Berg from Ice Sports Tasmania said this outcome is:
For all the ice hockey community, from the juniors who just started their journey, to players that started hockey in the State 3 decades ago and everyone in between.
The rink started the journey to achieving great things on the world stage, was a place to dream, a place to gather, grow, compete and a hub for the hockey family.
We can only hope that Ice Sports, Ice Hockey Tasmania and Figure Skating Tasmania can find a way to work with the Government and Investors, to find a way forward for Ice Sports in this State”
Governments at all levels need to come together to fix this. We need to find an appropriate space in Greater Hobart to build a new purpose built facility that will allow this community to flourish and we need to come together and lobby the State and Federal governments for grant funding to build it. We have a sport obsessed State Government, but they only seem interested in funding professional popular sports, not the sports that actually matter - grass roots, community sports.
Community matters, sports and recreation matter.