WALPOLE HIGHWAY: Former skaters realise their dream by taking over Fenland's only rink
EXCLUSIVE by: TOM JACKSON SKATERS across Fenland will keep on rolling for years to come, after a former world-class skating couple achieved their latest dream and took over the district s only rink. The former Skaters rink in Walpole Highway is again op
EXCLUSIVE by: TOM JACKSON
SKATERS across Fenland will 'keep on rolling' for years to come, after a former world-class skating couple achieved their latest dream and took over the district's only rink.
The former Skaters rink in Walpole Highway is again open for business from today (Tuesday), under the guidance of professional skaters Angela and Ashley Moore.
Mr Moore said: "This really is a dream come true. We have put our own money into this and had to revise cash flow forecasts many times, but all we need now are the customers."
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The couple turned down the chance to renovate the skating rink in Bury St Edmunds, the town they live, to move to Walpole.
Mr Moore said: "This is a fantastic community rink and we feel it has not yet been used to its full potential.
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"There is a generation of people who live between Swaffham and Peterborough - about 400,000 people - who probably didn't know this was here."
The Mill Road rink closed earlier this year and the site was earmarked to become housing, until Mr and Mrs Moore stepped in.
A major refit of the rink - rebranded Roller Village - was carried out prior to today's reopening. It included new toilets, a new reception area and a studio room open to community groups.
Work will continue until August next year, but gone is the bar and unhealthy snacks such as chips and hot dogs.
"We are not interested in getting people tanked up and potentially having a riot," said Mr Moore. "We are here to promote roller skating to the family market and get more people involved in sport."
Also planned are numerous coaching sessions in speed skating, roller hockey, roller football and artistic skating. Sessions will be led by fully-qualified coaches.
Mr and Mrs Moore have represented Great Britain in roller skating on the world stage, with the highlight a fourth-place finish in the 1996 pairs' world championship.
Mr Moore also won 11 British championships and represented Great Britain at the Winter Olympics in 1988. Mrs Moore, meanwhile, is a former European champion and has performed at the Royal Variety Performance. They are also fully-qualified coaches.
A number of events are planned at Roller Village, including an official launch gala next month.
n For a full timetable, or for more enquiries, visit www.rollervillage.com or call 01945 880324.