Shimla Ice Skating ClubThe history of ice skating sport goes back to the ancient days. In the beginning, the sport was restricted to the small winter season, when most of the water bodies such as the lakes, ponds and the rivers were frozen solid. In the course of time, most of the technically prosperous countries established various indoor skating rinks. These rinks made the skaters practice the sport easier, without depending upon the daylight and the weather. But, the importance of the natural and seasonal skating rinks is no way diminished due to this. Today, ice skating rink of Shimla has the distinction of the only natural skating rink of India. The existence of this rink has given India an important place in Winter sports world map.
History of Shimla Ice Skating ClubThe history of Shimla Ice Skating Club goes back to the 1920. On a cold morning in winter, an English Gentleman, Mr. Blessington, found that the water taps has flooded his tennis courts with water. The water which flooded the tennis courts was frozen solid and it also encompassed the water taps and trickles of water which were suspended in air. With utter joy, he started converting the tennis courts into the ice skating rink every winter.
He founded Simla Ice Skating Club, which was the oldest ice skating club in India and South East Asia. Today also, it has retained its position in the South East Asian winter sports map. During the British Period, only European people were permitted to be the members of the Club. Later the Ice Skating Club relaxed its policies, and permitted few Indians to become the member of the Club. Today, anyone can become a member irrespective of the color, caste and the creed. It is affiliated to the other sports clubs such as Portland Ice Skating Club, USA. It is also affiliated with the Ice Skating Association of India, Winter Games Federation of India and H.P. Winter Games Association. In addition to that, it is affiliated with the Ice Hockey Association of India for ice hockey.
Location of Shimla Ice Skating ClubThe location of Ice Skating Club is very ideal for the natural skating rink. It is just below the Scandal Point and adjacent to Circular Road. People can visit the ice skating rink from all parts of Shimla as it is very convenient and approachable. When the winter starts to spread its mantle on the town, the management of the Ice Skating Club starts preparing for the coming season. After retouching the surface, they spread water on the Blessington Courts.
Most of the people think that the administration uses the mechanical and artificial devices to freeze water but it is not true. As the location is below the ground level, the sun rays are not able to touch the surface of the rink. Due to this fact, the water freezes into ice naturally.
The dexterity and the art of the management lie in flooding of the surface with water at particular hours during day and night. This performance shows the ability of Garhwali highlanders, who are working since the several generations to perform this magic. It is they who convert the tennis courts into the ice skating rink for winters. The peak season for ice skating rink is the December and the January. At that time, the rink which covers the area of the 4 tennis courts is covered in a thick layer of 15 cm ice.
Activities at Shimla Ice Skating ClubNormally, in winter Shimla is a silent city and wears the deserted impression. But, the existence of the Ice Skating Rink comes back to life. Not only the Club becomes the noisy recreational center but it also attracts the attention of the tourists. For providing the facilities to the visiting tourists, the club makes arrangements for the temporary memberships and skating equipments for the nominal fees.
If you don’t know how to skate, you can also learn skating here. You just require strong legs, confidence, courage, good sense of the balance and enthusiasm. Most of the learners learn this sport in a week’s time. After starting, most of the people continue the ice skating for amusement, health and recreation. Some people carry it a stage further and become adapt skaters. The people, who are skilled in ice skating, delight to exhibit various feats on the ice. Most of the skilled people also indulge in various types of ice skating such as free skating and dancing on the ice. They also love and enjoy the figure skating and couple skating with the accompaniment of rhythmical music which harmonizes with the step movement. The management also encourages the ice hockey on the ice skating rink.
Ice Festivals at Shimla Ice Skating ClubEvery year, the management organizes two main events at the rink. One is the Fancy Dress Carnival, which is attended by more than 10,000 people in the winter. This festival is organized in the last week of December and is synchronized with the Christmas celebrations.
The other important event is the Annual Gymkhana which conducts the Ice Skating Championships for various categories.
What Makes Shimla Ice Skating Club So Special?The only natural Skating rink in India, it is very popular among the locals and the tourists who visit Shimla. Not only the common man, but the VIP people also visit the skating rink during the winter. Some names from this list include Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi, the ambassador of Denmark during 1960s to 70s and Sir M. Hidayatullah, the Honorable Indian Chief Justice.
Since the independence, the major artists also has been attracted and visited the ice skating club, when they visited Shimla in winter. Some prominent names in the list of visitors include Raj Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Sanjiv Kumar, Manoj Kumar, and M.G. Ramachandran. The actresses in this list include the names such as Saroja Devi, Kum Kum, Rajshri, Sadhana and Simmi. Today also, the current film stars visit the club when they are in Shimla.
The moviemakers of India have always used the beautiful surroundings of Shimla for making movies. Any movie, which has been shot in Shimla is not complete without some scenes at Shimla Ice Skating Club.
In addition to the political dignitaries and film star, sports personalities have not been immune to the appeal of Shimla Ice Skating Club. The names include the famous persons such as Shri Ashwini Kumar who is President of Hockey Federation, Tanzing Norgay, the Everest Hero and Milka Singh, the Olympic Hero.
One of the prominent sportsperson, Dr. Vignes, the Australian Ice Skating Champion never missed a visit to club till his death at the age of eighty. He used to visit the club all the way from Bangalore just for ice skating.
Best Season for Ice Skating in ShimlaIf you are waiting for the start of the Ice Skating season, you should keep an eye on top of the Municipal Building. The authorities let a balloon up to signal the start of ice skating season. The Ice Skating club conducts two sessions in a day. The program of the sessions includes one in the morning and other in the evenings. The ice skating season starts from December and ends in the February month. In the other months, the members continue the other sports activities such as cards, billiards, Gymnasium and table tennis at the Ice Skating Club.
Shimla Ice Skating Club
Lakar Bazar Bus Stand
Shimla - 171 001
Phone no.: 0177 2652 344
Email Id: email@example.com