Centerian Simla Ice Skating Rink opens for first session

Ice Skating Rink at Shimla was opened on Thursday for skaters for this session by Simla Ice Skating Club, as it was partly affected by Covid pandemic last year.
A Member of SIRC, Mr Vishal Sarin said that a giant balloon hoisted on Shimla Mincipal Corporation historic Town hall building on yesterday onwards which shows that skating session begins atIce Skating Rink Shimla.

Thanks to early winter and plummeting of Mercury below five degrees in the town skating season seems to well in time which enthralling the  skaters, Tourist, photographers and sports lover , Mr Sarin said.
 Till early morning to 1000 hrs and from 1630 hrs to 1930 hrs skaters  skirts could enjoy the thrill of sliding on the frozen natural ice in the rink .
The Ice skating Rink christened as ” Simla Ice skating Club ” was established in 1920 by Mr. Blessington, an Britisher, as one morning he found water taps and even the trickles of water frozen in the vicinity of his tennis courts, flooded the courts with water which to his utter joy got frozen.
“This is the tale how the tennis courts were converted into ice skating rink during the winters of 1920. ” Mr Sarin
Simla Ice Skating Club was the first to be established in India and the only of its kind in whole of South East Asia
Even till this day the club has retained an envious position on the sports map of South East Asia. 
During the British era the Club only permitted Europeans to be its members, later however with certain reservations, a few selected Indians were also included as members.
 After the dawn of independence it was rendered open to all sports loving persons, irrespective of caste, color and creed.
The site of the rink is most ideally situated adjacent to the Circular road, just below the Scandal Point and conveniently approachable from all parts of the town.
 With the advent of winter, Simla Ice Skating Club resumes its activities with renewed vigor.
 After giving retouches to the surface of Blessington Courts water is spread over.
 It is deemed quite relevant to dispel a common misunderstanding that artificial and mechanical devices are adopted to freeze water into ice.
 The fact is that location of the rink at a place where sun rays find it impossible to penetrate helps in freezing the water naturally. 
The art and dexterity lies in flooding the ground with water during certain hours of night and day and the performance of this skill has been the monopoly of the Garhwali high-Landers, who have been seasonally migrating to this place for seeking out their livelihood since generations, by converting the Blessington tennis Courts into Ice Skating Rink.
As the minimum temperature plummet to five degrees in the town in between December and January it  happens to be peak season for ice skating when the rink, covering an area equivalent to four tennis courts, is covered with a thick layer of about 15 cm of ice.
During chilly winters frost cover turned Shimla into an almost silent city, the atmosphere used to be impregnated with the fresh scent of burning charcoal, and fire place chimneys oozing smoke made the air little polluted. 
The town would have worn a deserted impression but the very existence of Ice Skating Rink bestowed an extra special position unequalled by any other place in India.
 Taking care of environment the heating systems have been modernized. The Club is not only a recreational center but also provides the main center of tourist attraction.
 The club has special arrangements of skating equipment for casual skaters and tourists on nominal rates.

 Organizer of the session Manpreet Singh said that the ice skating rink completed 100 years and since then skating has been taking place here. He said that last years only few scattered could turned due to covit pandemic however every year about three and a half hundred children participate here and many types of competitions are also organized.

 He said that on very first day, there was a lot of enthusiasm among the children about skating.  
This sport center is so popular among film stars that they never miss a chance to include a visit to this rink in their itinerary during winters. A brief shot of the rink for the movie is never ignored. 
One Dr. Vignes, the Australian Ice Skating Champion, used to come all the way from Bangalore for ice skating only, even when he was in his eighties till he was snatched from us by the cruel hands of death in 1964. This Club is associated with the Portland Ice Skating Club of the United States of America. People indulge in various types of fun and frolics according to their aptitude and skill. 
Couple skating, figure skating, free skating and dancing on ice keep the onlookers spell bound. 
All this is accompanied by rhythmical music harmonizing with step movement. Except the Hockey game, races and jumps, for all other items on ice, music is a necessary concomitant. 
During the last week of December every year, normally synchronizing with Christmas in the favorable weather circumstances, the Club arranges a Fancy Dress Carnival which is witnessed by more than a 10,000 strong crowd is shivering winter every year. The other important event of the Club is the Annual Gymkhana conducting the ice-skating championships.
Mr Sarin said that State Government under Bharat Darshan scheme an all weather ice skating rink is proposed to be built on the natural Ice-skating Rink but Shimla Ice-skating club was not taken into confidence over aesthetic essence of historic and natural splendor of landmark place.
“The club has an ambitious plan to develop its premises into a sports stadium which is a long standing need of all sports loving people of the town.”
Mr Sarin said that it is interesting to know that State Government is  keen to see our dreams come true and with the blessings and benevolence of the patrons of the club, we wish to achieve this target and accomplish the project before it is too late. 
There are four natural Ice Skating Rink in the world and SIRC is oldest one. Natural Ice Skating Rinks are at Gulmarg in Jumma & Kashmir, Switzerland and Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti district also witnessing similar seasonal session, he added.

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