Covid-19 crisis looms large on it’s centenary celebrations  

Shimla: Much to the cheers of ice skating enthusiasts, after trials, Simla Ice Skating Rink on Saturday evening started its first session for this season.

The Covid-19 crisis, here too has loomed large, forcing the club not only to skip the routine winter carnival and Gymkhana, but also set aside its centenary celebrations.  

“We had started preparing the rink for the season by freezing the water since December 4. As temperatures were not conducive it did not get through. It was on December 15 that the low minimum temperatures created suitable conditions for the water to freeze,” said Pankaj Prabhakar, Treasurer at Simla Ice Skating Rink.

After three days of trials that started on December 16, we have today evening finally thrown it open for the public for this season, he added.

Around 60 ice skating enthusiasts have already got themselves registered for the season by evening and more are expected, he said, adding that two sessions, morning and evening will be held daily, which is likely to last till February subject to weather conditions.

Simla Ice Skating Rink is Asia’s oldest natural ice skating rink, set up in the 1920, Blessington area of Shimla which is now better known as Lakkar Bazaar area of Shimla. The club organizes skating sessions every year during the winters.

“The fee this ice skating season for the adults is Rs 2800 and Rs 1600 for juniors full season. Rs 2000 adult and Rs 1000 junior for half season,” he said.