YOUNG skating stars will be taking part in a special show to launch the opening of a temporary synthetic ice rink in the borough.
The company that provided a skating rink for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver is coming to Wallsend.
They will be setting up the environmentally friendly, synthetic rink at Silverlink, which will be open from Saturday, February 9, to Sunday, February 24.
And to celebrate, some of the city’s brightest young skating stars will be putting on a spectacular show at the rink on the opening day from 2pm to 4pm.
The youngsters, aged seven and eight, are all from the Whitley Bay Ice Rink and are pupils of coach Karen Brannen, a local girl herself, who started skating aged just two and went on to be a member of the British Junior squad.
She said: “I started when I was only two because my older sister, Heather McDermott, was going to go to give her a bit of confidence as she was very shy.
“It worked for her too. She ended up playing ice hockey for Great Britain while I competed until I was 18 and was second in the Under-13 British Championships before I took up coaching and I love it, it’s so rewarding.”
She added: “Ice skating is a sport for all ages.
“At the ice rink we have skaters in their 80s and I can be ideal for older people because it is low impact and much easier than running.
“You’re never too late to start skating.”
Amy Hodges, marketing manager for Silverlink, said: “It should be a lot of fun for shoppers on the day and I’m sure the young skaters will be inspirational.
“It will also be great to have Karen on hand to give some expert guidance so that even beginners will be able to have a go.”
The Reading based manufacturers, Ice Magic, installed a skating rink on the roof of the Harrods in London’s Knightsbride for their popular Christmas TV advert and have also supplied several of the Harry Potter films.
For more information on skating go to www.whitleybayicerink.co.uk and for more on the Silverlink go to www.silverlinkshoppingpark.co.uk