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New generation inspired by Chelmsford’s ice show

We’re lucky to have an amazing range of sports facilities in Chelmsford, with a dedicated Athletics centre, public swimming poolssports courts, and our ice rink at Riverside Leisure Centre.

So, there are plenty of opportunities to get active, and if you need a bit of inspiration to try something new and add a bit of magic to your weekly routines, look no further!

3 families ice skating with children

The Little Mermaid on Ice was a spectacular return for Chelmsford’s skaters

The annual ice show at Riverside made its glittering return with The Little Mermaid on Ice this Easter. Ariel’s story was reimagined by show directors Chloe Gribble and Katie Diamond and told by the skaters of Chelmsford Riverside Ice Skating Club.

2023 seems to be the year of Ariel, with Disney’s live action remake coming to cinemas next month and Chelmsford Theatre hosting not one but two productions this year! And it’s certainly a mermaid’s tale (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) loved by many. I saw the ice show with my five-year-old-niece and I’m not sure who had more fun! We both thoroughly enjoyed singing along with familiar songs, as well as some well-chosen pop classics that had parents and grandparents swaying in their seats.

The production was wonderful, and I have to give a special mention to the wardrobe team who created some absolute masterpieces. My personal favourites were the squids in the junior ensemble, whose legs flew out wide as they spun around! My niece, who is a big fan of feathers, said Scuttle was her choice for best costume.

A show and sport perfect for all ages

Riverside has been hosting ice shows since 1992 and their experience in entertaining a varied audience was clear. The skaters encouraged audience participation and there was a focus on engaging children in the audience throughout. The rink’s mascot, Pops the Penguin, even made an appearance!

The show was performed by members of the Chelmsford Riverside Ice Skating Club. The club is home to skaters of all ages, at all levels.

Ice skating feet black and white

The stars included ice show regulars who compete nationally and internationally. For Paige Lepley, who played Ariel, this was her eleventh show! The group performers and junior ensemble were equally impressive, with the latter showing us that skating is something you can start young!

Many of the smaller audience members were pirouetting in the carpark after the show! And the club’s chairman says these shows often lead to a boost in members.

The club is made up of skaters just beginning their skating journey right up to current British Champions and our aim, as well as putting on a fantastic show, is to encourage young people to take up the sport and join the club.

As the Chairman of Chelmsford Riverside Ice Skating Club, I’m extremely proud of how our members performed throughout The Little Mermaid on Ice’s run. I would like to thank Chloe and Katie for all of their hard work in putting the show together, along with the centre staff and management and all of the volunteers who gave up their time to chaperone and help backstage to make the show such a success.

Adam Lepley, Chairman, Chelmsford Riverside Ice Skating Club
Girl being helped into ice skating shoe

Chelmsford’s Riverside ice rink

The ice rink at Riverside Leisure Centre offers a variety of ice skating sessions, suitable for everyone.

There are public skate sessions as well as special sessions, including ‘club nights’, Patch training and sessions for families. You can see a full timetable on the Riverside Leisure Centre website. You’ll also find details of the ice skating clubs who practice, perform, and play at Riverside, including Chelmsford Riverside Ice Skating Club!

And for those with barriers to participation, Sport for Confidence sessions at the rink could be perfect for you. These sessions are designed for people with physical, mental, or complex needs that mean joining on their own isn’t possible. You can find out about Sport for Confidence.

The rink is run by a friendly and approachable team, who are always happy to answer your questions.

Ice rink being used by public with pink yellow blue lights

It’s time for everyone to get skating!

After the sell-out run of The Little Mermaid, the rink’s manager says welcoming people to experience the joy of ice skating is what’s most important.

I’m extremely proud to see all the hard work put in by the skaters result in such a fantastic show for our community. We hope that everyone enjoyed the performances as much as we did!

We are very fortunate to have a wealth of talent at Riverside and the ice show is a fantastic opportunity for skaters to showcase their talents and hopefully inspire the next generation. Whether the show made you want to give skating a go, join in with patch training, or just to attend next year’s ice show – we’re happy to have you!

Chris Evans, Ice Rink Manager, Riverside Leisure Centre
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Molly Smith
Molly Smith

Molly writes stories about public health, community safety, leisure, community sport, parking and Chelmsford Market.