Fundraisers get their skates on

Skater David Richardson and ice rink owner Francis Smith.
Skater David Richardson and ice rink owner Francis Smith.

A popular leisure facility is preparing to throw open its doors for a charity fundraising event.

Whitley Bay Ice Rink, in Hillheads Road, is hosting a skating show organised by former professional skater David Richardson, who began his career at the venue.

I really got a big buzz having all the bands coming to Whitley Bay but I have to say this event that we are putting on with David is far more meaningful.

Francis Smith

And owner Francis Smith says the event will mean more to him than some of the top pop acts who have appeared, including Sting, Take That and Kylie Minogue.

The Best of British Skating Gala is taking place on Sunday, August 30, from 5pm to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, and is part of the rink’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

Francis said: “I really got a big buzz having all the bands coming to Whitley Bay but I have to say this event that we are putting on with David is far more meaningful.

“I’ll get more enjoyment and satisfaction out of this event than I did from putting on all the big-name acts.”

An array of skating stars will be heading to ice rink to boost the charity after Heaton-based skater David who is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of his nan, Shirley Snowball, who had dementia.

David, 27, said: “The Alzheimer’s Society is a cause that is very close to my heart.

“My Nan meant so much to me and I hope I can do her proud this weekend with a really special show.

“It’s really good of Francis to let me go ahead and organise something at the rink which is my spiritual home.”

Also taking part in the show will be former British champion Jenna McCorkell, European Bronze medallists Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland, plus a skills display by members of the Whitley Warriors ice hockey development squad.

Tickets, costing £4 per person, are available from the ice rink.

For more information contact 0191 291 1000.