Littleport ‘the perfect home’ for new ice stadium - former skater and coach says

PUBLISHED: 13:23 18 September 2014

Lyn Guest de Swarte A trailblazing speed skater and ice hockey player has announced her desire to build a state-of-the-art ice stadium and skating oval in Littleport. Picture: Steve Williams.

Lyn Guest de Swarte A trailblazing speed skater and ice hockey player has announced her desire to build a state-of-the-art ice stadium and skating oval in Littleport. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

A trailblazing speed skater and ice hockey player has announced her desire to build a state-of-the-art ice stadium and skating oval in Littleport

Lyn Guest de Swarte has been involved in the sports of speed skating and ice hockey for more than 30 years, both as a player, a coach and an international referee.

But Lyn says ice sports are undervalued in the UK and believes Littleport, with its historic association with Fen skating, would be the perfect venue to introduce a new generation of people to the discipline.

She said: “To build a really good facility and have all the trimmings that I think it should have, I think it will cost about £30million to get it up to the right standard.

“There are only 12 similar facilities in the world and I would love for Littleport to be number 13. We have a long history of Fen skating in the area but that history is in danger of being lost to the younger generation.

“Years ago people would come from miles around, they would come up on the train from King’s Cross, to watch the Fen skating and I would like to see that again.

“This could be a facility of national important but it would also be something for Littleport.”

Ms Guest de Swarte has created a company, Littleport Ice Stadium Project Ltd, and hopes to attract funding from the EU and Sport England in order to get her idea off the ground.

She insists the project will be not-for-profit and is inkeeping with the spirit of Littleport benefactor Thomas Peacock, who was a great supporter of Fen skating in the village in the 19th century.

On Monday, Ms Guest de Swarte, who is a life member of the National Ice Skating Association, approached Littleport Parish Council – which offered its support to her vision.

In the weeks and months ahead, Ms Guest de Swarte will put together a business case for the development and, working together with rural charity Cambridgeshire ACRE, will begin looking at funding options.

She is basing her plans on the Thialf ice stadium in Heerenveen, the Netherlands, and believes twinning with the Dutch town could boost the project.

She is keen to hear from anyone who would like to help take the project forward. E-mail her at littleporticestadiumprojectltd@yahoo.co.uk

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Can you see Littleport being home to a pioneering ice rink? E-mail Daniel.mansfield@archant.co.uk or write to Ely Standard, Alexander House, Fore Hill, Ely, CB7 4AF.

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